Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Corn Palace 1962 vs 2010

This picture was taken by my grandparents during a family trip. It’s the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota; it was taken during the warmer months of 1962. 

This is a picture I took of the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota during one of our family trips in 2010. They were actually putting up new designs when we were there.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Matrilineal Monday - Great Grandmother Emma Josephine HARRENBURG


   Now I would like to introduce you to my Great Grandmother Emma Josephine HARRENBURG (Hopper). This is my dad’s grandmother, on his father’s side, her parents were Cornelia Josephine GRAY, born in Alabama, and her dad was Charles HARRENBERG, born in Missouri.
   Great Grandma Emma Josephine HARRENBURG (Hopper) was born 31 AUG 1890 in Missouri. She married Robert Nathanial Elmer HOPPER on 11 NOV 1912 when she was 22 years old. She lived in Cape Girardeau with my Great Grandfather after their marriage. She had five children Mary Angelina HOPPER, Charles Garrett HOPPER, Robert Eugene HOPPER, Carrie Lee HOPPER and my grandmother Lena Katherine Elizabeth HOPPER. She passed away 31 May 1966 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

     Just like my past post on my Great Grandmothers, I wasn’t around when they were with us. So I had to rely on what I remember about any stories, which was not a lot. So I turned to my dad to ask what he remembered about his grandmother. He remembers her being a very head strong lady set in her ways. She was a professional piano player that spent most of her childhood in schools in Germany. It was probably her love of the piano that drove her to trying to convince my dad to play the piano; he didn’t have any real desire to play and never did. One of the fondest memories that he has of her was during Christmas, she would make the best hot coco, and he still believes there’s no other hot coco like it.

     I’ve only touched the surface as to what Emma Josephine HARRENBURG (Hopper) was like. I have the strong suspicion that there’s a lot more that I’ll learn about her as time goes on. I’ll be sure to share those findings as they come to the surface of my search into her and her family. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Orphan Photo - What a Nice Hat on Man

The hat makes this picture along with the expression on the man behind him. I really don’t know a lot about this photo; expect this is one I bought off eBay and there was possible celebration of sorts. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is Adolf Hitlers Name on this Photo - 1931

     I'm in need of some help with this wonderful photo that has some information on the front and back. I'm sure some of it is quite interesting, that's why I'm asking for some help. If you remember a couple of days ago I posted a picture on "Tombstone Tuesday", well this photo is out of the same photo album that I purchased while we were stationed in Germany.

     I've believe on the bottom of the photo the first word is Ansbach, which is a town in Germany, and the year at the end of writing is 1931. If you'll notice in the actual photo there is an "X" over one lady's face and a red arrow with a word drawn down to another lady's face. 

     Now for the back of the photo you will probably be able to quickly spot what appears to be a familiar name, "Adolf Hitler". The number of the top is possibly a house number, 1662, I'm not really sure yet. Now for the rest of the information on the back, I'm at a complete loss. This is where I'm hoping that some of you might be able to help me out. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Fred Henry Elfrank

This is a photo of my grandpa, Fred Henry Elfrank. It was taken in front of the capital building in Victoria, Canada on June 1963.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Ghostly Germans

If there was any photo of a tombstone I could find that would give me the heebie-jeebies this one would be it. The information I have on this photo is very limited. I’m still researching on the family.  This was one of the photos in an album I purchased while in Germany. So as you can imagine I’m still working on the German penmanship. I just couldn't resist posting this; I defiantly did a double take the first time I saw it.   

Monday, January 21, 2013

Matrilineal Monday - Great Grandma Essie Mae STEWART (Clinton)

     Great grandma Essie Mae STEWART (Clinton) was born 4 November 1880 in Daviess, Indiana. Her parents were Stewart and Dicey Bugher. She married Edd Clinton on 8 August 1897; they migrated to Missouri around 1910 and settled in Sikeston, MO where they raised corn, soybeans, melons and some cotton. Around the mid 1940’s they purchased a stock of farm in the Perryville, Mo area. That is where Great grandma Clinton passed away on 30 January 1957 at 76 years of age. Great grandma and Great grandpa Clinton had seven children; Kenneth, Ora, Frank, Nellie, Eldon, Edra and Martha.
  I picked my mom’s brain again and asked what she remembered about my Great grandma Clinton. Once again I wasn't around so I never got the opportunity to meet her. As stated above she lived on a farm and they weren't a wealthy family, as far as money goes. She was a farming wife in every since of the word, lived off what the land had to offer. My mom recalls that when she and her brother, LeRoy, would go to visit. She was never allowed to go down to the barn with her brother and grandpa. That was not a place for girls as far as her grandmother; my Great grandma Clinton was concerned. I’m just guessing, but I’m pretty sure Great grandpa Clinton wouldn't have mind. She remembers helping with the little lambs and bottle feeding some of them with Great grandma Clinton.
  Now for the swinging chicken, I remember the story on this one also. Remember Great grandma Clinton was a farmer’s wife without question, when it would come time to prepare a chicken she was the one to collect. She would go out to the chicken coop and grab the best one for the night, pick it up and swing it in the air, above her head until it snapped. I picture a cowboy twirling a lasso above his head, but instead it’s my Great grandma with a chicken.
 The house they lived in was built by my grandpa, Fred Elfrank and my Great uncle Scott, it’s pictured below. When mom was reminiscing about what she remembered one memory was of the porcelain pot that set in the corner of their bedroom. She didn't want any form of plumbing in the house; they had a bathtub and sink basin but no toilet, just the porcelain pot. I guess some change was okay but they wanted to take it slow. Mom recalls great grandma sitting in the corner rocking chair rocking back and forth shaking a mason jar making butter; no they didn't have a churn. She also kept baby chicks in the fenced in on the back porch.
   Like I said they weren't a wealthy family when it comes to money and as for the photos, they were taken on a special occasion. It was her and Great grandpa Clinton's 50th wedding anniversary that brought together many friends, the pictures were one of the gifts that they received from their children. I’m so grateful that this was a gift they received, because now I have received that same gift, and now I’m sharing that gift with all of you and my kids.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Orphan Photo

I’m at a complete loss on this photo as for location and names. It does look as if there are a lot of people lined up to watch some event that is taking place in an open field.  I believe that is a camera she is holding in her lap. And the sun glasses look like they could be aviator glasses. There isn’t anything noted on the back, this was another one of those wonderful finds off of eBay.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Grim Reaper Comes to Visit the Elfrank Home

      While searching for some additional information on my ancestor’s I started browsing the Bollinger County, Missouri Newspapers Abstract of July 2, 1891 – December 31, 1896. I hit the jack pot, so to speak, and was able to locate an overwhelming amount of information. It’s nice to see that I found information on many other ancestors, along with the one I was conducting the search on. Luck would have it that most of the Elfranks and Estes families lived in Marble Hill, Bollinger County, Missouri.
      The wording in this obituary announcement is quite different than what we find in obituaries today. Some might view the beginning as strange and creepy, while others will notice how much she meant to the community and the one who wrote this announcement.

February 4, 1892
The grim reaper has invaded the happy home of our friend, Mr. Henry Elfrank, and took therefrom one who’s place can never be filled – the wife and mother. She had been a suffer for a long time from cancer in the stomach, and being reduced in strength, when the prevailing malady, la grippe, attack her she sank rapidly, and last Sunday night at about the hour of ten, surrounded by her family and a number of friends, all that was immortal of Mrs. Elfrank took its flight to the relm of peace and rest. She was a member of the Catholic Church, and was buried at Vinemont Tuesday. She leaves a husband and six motherless children, to whom we extend our most sincere sympathy. Local and General (Marble Hill)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Follow Fridays

     The past two Fridays I’ve been posting about blogs that I follow. Problem with this is that I’m only spotlighting one blog each Friday. I can’t do this anymore because there are so many wonderful blogs out there with a lot of interesting post. So instead I’ll post about the different post that I’ve read throughout the week on the different blogs. These aren't listed in any particular order and these aren't the only blogs that I read. So if I don't mention you this round don't worry there are many more Fridays in the future.

Finding Your Italian Roots “Il Comparatico- Godparenthood”

Growing Up in Willow Creek “Tillie Politi, best friends”

Nutfield Genealogy  “Weathervane Wednesday – An Abandoned Town”

The Dead Bell  “Cemetery Sunday – A Glimpse Into the Gates of the Shelton Mausoleum”

Braunhart Mania “Letters from Germany 1927-Alexander Lonely After Wife Dies”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Liebster Blog Award!

I want to thank Jenny Lanctot for this nomination. I've been awarded the Liebster Blog Award! (Liebster means "favorite" or "dearest" in German, apparently) The premise behind this award is that when you are nominated, you are supposed to answer 11 questions about yourself (chosen by the person who nominated you), and then nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 readers and provide 11 questions for them to answer.

I was nominated by a fellow blogger and genealogist Jenny Lanctot, thank you again. Below you will find the 11 questions that she asked, enjoy.  

1. What is your favorite time of day and why? At night after the kids have finished all their homework, after dinner, dishes cleaned and I can relax and read or blog, research or write. I get more ideas later in the day.

2. How and when did you first discover your passion, whatever that passion is? My passion of research and genealogy stared during one of my husband’s deployments about 7 years ago.

3. Hopefully, you’re familiar with The Breakfast Club for this question. When you were in high school, in which social group did you best fit? A basket case athlete with some brainy smarts that never wanted to be a princess, I hate ruffles. I plead the fifth on belonging to a criminal group. LOL

4. Where do you write your posts and why did you choose that place? I have little make shift office space set up, I’ve got everything I need right there. I can even look outside and enjoy watching the kids play.

5. What always makes you laugh and why?  My kids always make me laugh, because they are funny, and always speak their minds.

6. If you could appear on a televised talent show, what would your talent be? Well dancing is a definite no; I’ve always been told not to dance out of my box. Singing, again another no I don’t want to scare anyone unless it’s Halloween. Cooking that’s a talent, right?

7. Which flower reminds you of happiness? Gerber Daisies, because they are so big and colorful.

8. What is your favorite book and why? Dan Browns, Da Vinci Code, it was a puzzle to follow and piece together.

9. It’s important to eat your vegetables, but which vegetable do you always resist/avoid eating? I’m not big on vegetables at all, unless there’s dip or they are fried. I refuse to eat broccoli and brussel sprouts. UGH!

10. What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Watch a good movie, read or yes even take a nap.

11. Who is the one celebrity, past or present, you would like to meet — and what would you ask that person? Lucile Ball, she’s one of the funniest ladies and going through life it’s all about taking time along the way to smell the roses and laugh and enjoy. She seemed to have some rough times but always managed to smile and make me laugh.

Now here are the five blogs that I’m nominating along with their 11 questions.

  1. What is your favorite birthday party memory?
  2. What was your first book report about?
  3. What is your favorite family dish?
  4. What do you like to do on a snowy day?
  5. What was the best job you’ve ever had and why?
  6. What is your favorite holiday?
  7. Everyone has a hobby or two, what are your hobbies?
  8. What is your favorite childhood vacation memory?
  9. What is your favorite board game or card game that you like to play?
  10. What is your all-time favorite movie and why?
  11. What is the fondest memory you have of your grandparents?
Thank you again Jenny, and congratulations to all of those nominated. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

This is a photo that I bought off eBay; I don’t know the name of the couple. Maybe they are at New Year’s celebration; they look like they are enjoying it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesdays Time to Laugh

     Recently while doing some research on an ancestor of mine, Cornelia Josephine Gray, I wasn't having a lot of luck. So I decided it was time to search some of the archived newspapers.  While doing so I began reading some of the strangest stories. While looking through the Chicago Tribune I came across this article written around, 2 July 1876. I couldn't help but laugh as I was reading this article below. Just trying to picture Mr. French and all of the neighboring lodgers as they were explaining the events that took place. Not to mention the expression of the individual who wrote this article.  I know Tuesdays are sometimes a difficult day for some of us, so I thought I would give you all a little something to read and laugh at.
  We have all read something in our local newspaper that shocks us, makes us laugh or even makes us wonder if it’s really news.  But have we really taken the time to read some of these older newspapers. They just don’t write articles like they use to.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Matrilineal Monday - Great grandma Mary Caroline ESTES (Elfrank)

I mentioned last week that I wanted to take time to introduce you to some very special women in my life. Today I’m going to start with my Great grandma Mary Caroline ESTES (Elfrank) from my mom’s side.

Great grandma Mary Caroline ESTES (Elfrank) was born 11 November 1886 in Lutesville, Bollinger, Missouri. Her parents were Pinkey Dallas Estes, 1850-1933 and Mary Eveline Limbaugh, 1849-1932. On the 25 of December 1912 she married Fred Herman Elfrank in Jackson, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A member of the Presbyterian Church of Lutesville, she was active in church work for a number of years, serving as secretary and treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary and a member of the church board. She was a charter member and a past matron of Eastern Star Lodge of Lutesville. She served as a past officer for both the Woman's Club and the Past Matrons' Club. Great grandma Elfrank pasted away 3 September 1953 in Lutesville, Bollinger, Missouri; she was buried with Eastern Star Rights.

My great grandma Elfrank passed away before I was born, so I don’t have any memories of her but I do have this photograph and my mom’s memories. When I asked my mom what she remembered, she couldn't think of a lot right off, but once she started to remember many other memories started to follow. In the photo above my mom recalls that great grandma Elfrank always had Asparagus ferns sitting in the pots, which flank both sides of the stairs. My mom still has one of those pots that she pulls out every so often to display in the house. Great grandma Elfrank was a very religious lady that was set in her ways, she would always use the best china and crystal when setting the table and expected proper manners at all times. She wouldn't allow my great grandpa Elfrank to even smoke in the house; he would have to step outside in the shed. She played the organ in church and even gave piano lessons in their home on the baby grand. My mom recalls that when she was younger, great grandma Elfrank would make all of her dresses and sing “Baby Face” to her.  As my mom was remembering her grandma I could hear the love and laughter in her voice that she had for her grandmother, I only wish I could have known her. I never got the chance to meet her and I can’t help but to cry, laugh and wish she were still around.

Pictured in the photo above you will see in front my mom, Debra ELFRANK (Langston), my uncle, LeRoy ELFRANK. In the back from left to right my grandma, Martha Colleen CLINTON (Elfrank), my grandpa, Fred Henry ELFRANK and my great grandma, Mary Caroline ESTES (Elfrank). This is the only photo of my great grandma Elfrank that I've been able to locate. It was taken in front of great grandma and great grandpa Elfrank’s home in Lutesville. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Orphan Photo

While going through a junk store in Kansas I came across a box of miscellaneous photos. This was one of them; since I got the box of photos in Kansas I can only assume she is from Kansas. Wearing her Girl Scout uniform, I believe it’s a brownie uniform. Only because of the pin on her lapel, beanie she is wearing and in the 1934 catalog the pleats and snaps match.   

Friday, January 11, 2013

Follow Friday - Genablogger

If you’ve had the chance to visit my blog during December you will recognize this blog site, I was introduced to the man in charge of this blog, Thomas MacEntee, while I was attending the FGS conference in Alabama. I get a lot of great ideas for my blog while strolling through The month of December opened up a lot of ideas for not only that month but others as well; there are other holidays throughout the year. If you haven’t had a chance to visit his blog or might be looking for a blog prompt give a visit. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - 1963

This is a photo of my grandma, Martha Colleen Elfrank,
taken on a boat going to Victoria, Canada June 1963.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Elfrank

This is the tombstone of my grandparents. Martha Colleen Elfrank a strong willed and lovable woman. Fred Henry Elfrank, a loving grandfather and hero.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Matrilineal Monday

     I want to give some well-deserved focus to some of the strongest women in my life. If it wasn't for these 
women I wouldn't be here today, wouldn't be who I am, wouldn't have this wonderful family and be so 
strong willed.

Great grandma: Mary Caroline Estes (Elfrank)
Great grandma: Essie Mae Stewart (Clinton)
Great grandma: Emma Josephine Harenberg (Hopper)
Great grandma: Aline Marie Smith (Langston)
Grandma: Martha Colleen Clinton (Elfrank)
Grandma: Lena Kathleen Hopper (Langston)
Grandma: Doris Ann CAMPBELL (Benton, Langston)
My mom: Debra Sue Elfrank (Langston)

      Every one of these women played a special role in my life some way or another. I just wish they were all around now so I could thank each one of them. Over the next few weeks on every Monday I plan on introducing you to each of them a little more. With the help of some collected photos, letters, stories and memories from my mom and me.   We have all come to a point at one time or another wishing we would have said or done something more. I guess this is my way and time to express that, with some laughter and a few tears. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Re-Post of unknown ladies

Don’t know who these girls are but on the back of the
photo is a US Army Examiner Base 1718 stamp.

Photo of the Unknown

View SCAN0229cor.jpg in slide show
Don’t know who these girls are but on the back of the

photo is a US Army Examiner Base 1718 stamp.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Surname Saturday - Gray

The surname I’m sharing with you today comes from my father’s side. Cornelia Josephine Gray, she married Charles Harenberg. Cornelia died in 1890 after giving birth to my great grandmother, Emma Josephine Harenberg, in Missouri. I’ve run into a very large wall with Cornelia Josephine Gray, she showed up on a 1880 census, age 14, mulatto and a servant to the Ellis family, John C. Ellis of  South River, Marion, Missouri. I’m unable to locate anything about her childhood, who her parents are and where she came from. Special note is that she only shows up on the 1880 census.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Follow Friday - a3genealogy

     For those of you who have not had to the chance to visit a3genealogy you are missing out on some very useful information. Kathleen Brandt is the owner of this blog; she specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. I’ve been following Kathleen’s blog now for about a year and I’m always learning something new. With over ten plus years of professional experience in the field of genealogy research she has a wealth of information to share and it shows through her blog. Pay her a visit,, she might help you break through that brick wall and learn something new at the same time.   

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Resolutions with some Reflections

     It’s time to welcome in the new year of 2013; I’m sure most of you already know that. I’m just trying to figure out if I’m supposed to reflect back on my two months of blogging. Maybe I should blog about my resolutions of what I hope to accomplish with my blog and genealogy research. Since I don’t have a lot of blogs to reflect back on why not combine both, the reflection and my resolutions.

     I wasn’t really sure about blogging when I was first approached; it was defiantly new and kind of scary for me, as some of you know. But a wise lady told me that you just have to jump in and give it a try, step out of your box. That I did and I’m so glad because I have truly enjoyed every aspect of it, as I hope you’ve gotten a joy out of reading my blog. I still have a few things to look into that I made reference to on previous post. Finding out more about the small cemetery our neighborhood, I still need to find a Halloween photo of my dad; I need to look into a “Military Genealogical Society”.  I think those are the stones left unturned that I still need to flip over, so I’ll carry those over to my resolutions for 2013. Reliving my Christmas past with the blog prompts from was very entertaining. There were so many things that I had forgotten about, the store front at Hutson’s, plastic bread bags on our feet and the Jell-O recipe. What’s nice is there were so many more memories that came to light and I enjoyed sharing those with my family, we all had a laugh or two.

     I, like all of you want to complete my genealogy research on my family and my husbands. As I said earlier I need to carry over the Halloween photo hunt for my dad, uncover the mystery of the neighborhood cemetery and look into that “Military Genealogical Society”. I hope to attend one of the large, informative, fun and wonderful genealogy conferences again this year either the NGS or FGS. Finish my genealogy class and take some additional genealogy classes. I plan on completing the scanning of all letters, diaries, photos and other documents that I’ve collected over the years. Then transcribing them for others to view, who knows maybe I have information on a surname you or someone you know might be searching for. I want to promote my blog, business and myself more in this coming year thru education with the youth, giving speeches, client work and through my blog. First and foremost have a blast doing all of it because without the fun and enjoyment of genealogy research it just becomes work and none of us like work.