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Posts Tagged ‘grandparents’

The Look of Love

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A few days ago I posted a photo of my parents that was one of my favorites, but when it comes to my maternal grandparents – I have many that I adore! The reason I enjoy looking at them is because in photos of just the two of them, their love for each other just radiates off the photo. Take a peek!

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Happy Grandparents Day!

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On August 3, 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a resolution proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day (Wikipedia). So if you are a grandparent – Happy Grandparents Day! If you are lucky enough to still have your grandparents living, make sure you give them a call today and thank them for all they have done for you! If you are a parent of young children, call your own parents to recognize them today.

AARP has stated that “almost 7.8 million children are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders, with more than 5.8 million children living in grandparents’ homes” and “2.5 million grandparents are taking on the responsibility for these children” (AARP, Grandfacts, January 2014, http://www.aarp.org). According to the American Grandparents Association (AGA) the average age of first time grandparents is 48 (grandparents.com, Surprising Facts about Grandparents, AGA, 2014, http://www.grandparents.com). My family is a part of the statistics. Not only do we have three generations under our roof, but have been primary caregivers for one of our grandsons since he was a year old.

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The day I became a first time grandparent!

I was much younger than the average age the first time I became a grandparent at age 39. Too young to be considered a “grandma,” I decided that I did not want that as a moniker. I flirted with “Granny” but that was mainly because on the Robin William’s version of Peter Pan (“Hook”), Dame Maggie Smith was called “Granny Wendy” (and if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you are aware of my affinity with “Peter Pan!”) My kids laughed at me and said it made me sound older than what “Grandma” would. As I had read in several publications about grandparents, grandchildren are the ones who eventually give your the name. I can still remember the day that I walked through the living room and my grandson said “Nana” and looked straight at me. So that’s what I am called by all the grandsons! My husband was not so particular – he was a Grandpa and that’s what he was going to be called. Well, my grandson could say the “pa” part so he doubled it. My husband became Papa!

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Vesta (Wilt) and Glen R Johnson – Nana and Granddad

My parents – also not conventional – didn’t want to be Grandma or Grandpa either. My mom was under 50 when my sister had her first child so my mom became “Grammy” and my dad became “Gramps.” My maternal grandparents – Glen R. Johnson and Vesta C. (Wilt) Johnson – were Nana and Granddad to their many grand- and great-grandchildren. When I show my grandsons pictures of them, I say that they are their “Great-Nana” and “Great-Granddad.”

Lloyd & Ella Amore

Lloyd & Ella Amore

My paternal grandparents had passed away before I was born so I really didn’t call them anything – other than “Dad’s parents.” Of course, researching family history, I’ve become more personal with them and call them “Grandma” and “Grandpa” Amore – and sometimes their first names.

One of my cousins is “Mimi” to her grandsons and her late husband was “Poppi” while another cousin (my first cousin’s daughter) goes by “Grandma” which is hard for me to believe that she is a grandmother! An older couple from our church use the German monikers of “Oma” and “Opa.” Someone I knew years ago called their mother-in-law “Honey” as her grandmother name.

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Papa with five of our six grandsons!

It isn’t what a grandparent is called, it is the relationship. Two of my grandsons live in our home. Two others I see if not once a week then at least twice a month. Two others are our new grandchildren that we were blessed with upon the marriage of our daughter to their father. One is now away at college and the other we get see at least once a month. That is a blessing that we are so close to them, see them, and have a real relationship with them.

So what are you waiting for? Call those grandparents – even the honorary ones (aunts, uncles, the older couple at church that has taken you and your family under their wing) – or grandparents – call your grandchildren! Without you – those grandchildren wouldn’t be here!

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I’m a day late, but thought I’d participate in Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings.  This topic was to post informaton about our 16 great-great-grandparents.

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1. William Amore b. February 6, 1828 in Albany, N.Y.  d. February 9, 1896 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  On the 1880 Census, he listed that his father was born in England and his mother was born in New York.  Nationality – probably English.

2. Charlotte Reed Imons b. August 4, 1828 in Ohio d. October 9, 1862 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  Nationality – unknown

3. William Washington Werts b. December 25, 1829 in Muskingum County, Ohio d. April 7, 1857 in Ohio.  William’s 2nd g-grandfather was born in Baden and the history documented about the Werts family suggests most of them originated in the German area.  Nationality – German

4. Louisa Bookless b. April 13, 1834 in Muskingum County, Ohio d. July 26, 1912 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  Nationality – probably English

5. Florus Allen House b. January 5, 1813 in New York d. June 25, 1891 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  Nationality – English

6. Julia Ann Lewis b. December 24, 1815 in Ohio d. October 6, 1899 in Coshocton County, Ohio.  Nationality – Unknown

7. Evan Ogan - He was the Foster father of my g-grandmother, Frances Virginia Ogan.  It is unknown if he was directly related to her.

8. Susannah Fritter – She was the Foster mother of my g-grandmother, Frances Virginia Ogan.  It is unknown if Susannah was directly related to her.

James Wilson Johnson, I think9. James Wilson Johnson b. August 16, 1829 in Byrd Township, Brown County, Ohio d. October 17, 1917 in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. Based on family lore – nationality is English.

10. Amanda Evaline Mullis b. 1833 in North Carolina d. March 21, 1868 in Rush County, Indiana.  Nationality – Scottish

11. Franklin Blazer b. June 2, 1836 probably in Indiana d. August 25, 1869 in Madison County, Indiana. Nationality – English & German

malissa_blazer12. Malissa Goul b. Oct. 1832 in Champaign County, Ohio d. March 7, 1907 in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. Nationality – German
isrealstern13. Israel Isaac Wilt b. September 9, 1827 in Rockingham County, Virginia d. September 11, 1919 in Henry County, Indiana. Nationality – German

14. Christena Nash b. abt. 1837 in Pennsylvania d. August 18, 1876 in Henry County, Indiana. Nationality – Unknown

emanuelstern_nancy15. Emanual Bushong Stern b. October 7, 1834 in Montgomery County, Ohio d. September 10, 1911 in Nebraska. Nationality – German

16. Nancy Caylor b. May 10, 1840 in Wayne County, Indiana d. December 21, 1900 in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana. Nationality – German

Out of my 16 great-great-grandparents, 2 of them are Unknown – the biological parents of Frances Virginia Ogan.  It is highly doubtful that I will ever find out who they are since she was either farmed out or dropped on a doorstep as a small child.  Four of them are of English descent.  One is of English and German descent.  Three are of Unknown descent.  One is of Scottish descent and the remaining 5 are of German descent.

I am:  31.75% German
            25.5% English
             6.25% Scottish
           36.5% Unknown (although I believe it to be a combination of English, German, Scottish and French)

Interesting facts: William Amore was the only one of my 2nd great-grandparents who was the 1st generation American.

Most of my 2nd great-grandparents were born and/or died in Indiana or Ohio.

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As I peruse my family file, I’ve come across some of the names listed in the reunion announcement of the first Amore-Werts reunion held on May 25, 1924 at the home of my great-grandparents, (William) Henry and (Mary Angelina) Annie (Werts) Amore.

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Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Amore – my great-grandparents

Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Baker – Benjamin and (Louisa) Clementine (called Clemmie) Baker.  Clemmie was the daughter of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Baker – Donald Francis and Emma Isabelle (Endsley) Baker.  He was the oldest son of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.  Don and Emma’s son with them: Francis Donald.

Clarence W. Amore and family – Clarence was the youngest son of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s brother. His wife (or soon to be ex-wife) was Nellie Buchanan.  Children: Theodore William and Harold Winifred.

Mr. and Mrs. Foster – Harry and Anna Belle (Baker) Foster.  She was the daughter of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.

H. Emmerson – I believe this should actually be Emerson W. and Clara Ethel (Baker) Levering.  Clara was the daughter of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.

Mr. and Mrs. Cephas Amore – Cephas and Ada (Prior) Amore.  He was the half-brother of my great-grandfather.  Children with them included: Ralph C. and Pauline Elizabeth Amore.

Mr. and Mrs. John Reese – John Thomas and Laura A. (Amore) Reese.  Laura was my great-grandfather’s half-sister.  Children with them probably included: Ellis and Edna Reese (possibly also Mary).

Mrs. Dennis Brannon – Nellie (Amore) Brannon, wife of William Denison Brannon.  She was the youngest half-sister of my great-grandfather.

Mrs. William Seater – I believe this should be Gladys Laura (Spragg) Slater (wife of Charles William Slater).  Gladys was the niece of Nellie (Amore), Laura (Amore) and Cephas Amore, daughter of Jennie (Amore) Spragg, and half-niece of my great-grandfather.

Captain R. Amore – Rollo Amore, 5th child of my great-grandparents, younger brother of my grandfather.  Possibly there with his wife, Belle, and children, Beatrice, Florence and Ralph.

Rev. I.H. Amore – Isaiah Henderson (Zade) Amore, oldest son (2nd oldest child) of my great-grandparents and older brother of my grandfather.  Possibly there with his wife, Lulu, and son, Robert.

Miss Marie Buschagen – Marie died around Oct. 23, 2007 as Marie B. Cosier.  Her obituary listing doesn’t show any relationship, however, she is listed as there with Rev. I.H. Amore, so she could be a friend, a parishoner, or relative of his wife.

Mr. and Mrs. Therman Vensil – George Thurman and Cora Etta (Simon) Vinsel.  She was the 2nd cousin of my great-grandmother and daughter of William and Susannah Simon.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Barcroft – Elizabeth Ann (Werts) and Lewis B. Barcroft.  Elizabeth was the first cousin once removed of my great-grandmother.

Mrs. William Simmons – Susannah (Werts) Simon.  Susannah was also the first cousin once removed of my great-grandmother.

Alex Jennings – Alexander Jennings and wife, Sarah Ellen (Simon) (my great-grandmother’s half-sister).

Mr. and Mrs. John Jennings – Son of Alexander and Sarah Jennings, half-nephew of my great-grandmother.

Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Jennings – Son of Alexander and Sarah Jennings, half-nephew of my great-grandmother.

Belford McLain – Belford and Clara Pearl (Jennings) McClain.  She was the daughter of my great-grandmother’s half-sister.

Delbert Stone – Delbert and Emma Odessa (Jennings) Stone.  Emma was the daughter of my great-grandmother’s half-sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Werts – John Calvin and Myra Eudora (Sprague) Werts.  Calvin was my great-grandmother’s first cousin once removed.

Lloyd Amore – Lloyd and Ella Maria (House) Amore, my grandparents.

Roy Amore – son of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s brother.

Mrs. John Shuck – Martha Ellen Adams, granddaughter of John and Elizabeth (Werts) Shroyer.  Martha was the 2nd cousin of my great-grandmother.

Mrs. Samuel Powelson – Anna M. Powelson, wife of Samuel A. Powelson who was the grandson of Charles and Susannah Maria (Shroyer) Adams.  Samuel was the 2nd cousin, once removed of my great-grandmother.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shackelford – Walter and Gertrude Pearl (Amore) Shackelford.  She was my dad’s oldest sister.

Charles Fisher – son of Martha Ellen (Shroyer) Shruck (married names also: Fisher/Wiggins) and George W. Fisher.  He was the 2nd cousin, once removed of my great-grandmother.

I believe it’s very important to decipher as much as you can from any news clippings that mention ancestors or collateral family members in order to ascertain the relationships.  This will also aide in determining the accuracy of the news article.

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This time of year families migrate back together from either distant areas of the country or through forgiveness and hope for the coming year.  There are many who spend Thanksgiving alone either by choice or circumstance.  With our technology even those who are alone or too far away from loved ones, can now spend a portion of their holiday feeling not so out of touch.  You can call long distance without worrying about the extra charges – thanks to “all-in-one” phone service or cell phones with unlimited long distance built into the cost of your monthly bill.  You can talk via the computer and web-cam so Grandma and Grandpa can actually see the grandchildren telling them Happy Thanksgiving.  Or spend time instant messaging one another before the Turkey or during the game.

Abraham Lincoln was one smart man to enact legislation making Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 while the Civil War was raging.  He proclaimed the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  And for 145 years we have done just that.  Thanks, Mr. President.

From my earliest memories, there has always been family around at Thanksgiving.  As a young girl, we’d spend the holiday at our home with grandparents and in-laws swooping in, eating, enjoying company and staying all day.  As an adult I continued the Thanksgiving Turkey and Dressing tradition with my own children.  At times we would travel to Missouri to spend the holiday at my in-laws or they would travel to our home in Texas.

As the children grew older and became close with other people, their friends would eat at least one of the Thanksgiving meals at our home.  We’ve invited families who needed a change of scenery to our house to celebrate and give thanks with us.  Ours is always a bountiful day full of family, food, noise, and (of course) the Cowboy game!

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This year we have all four of our adult children home (two who live here, one who lives close by and one who traveled in from out of state), our three grandsons will be here, our son-in-law, and a possible new addition to the family.  We’ll have turkey and all the trimmings along with four different pies and plenty of wine and spirits.  And of course we’ll be watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Dog Show and that at 3:30 p.m. Central Time, we’ll have the Cowboy/Seahawk game playing.

This year has brought me in touch with distant cousins including:

  • My great-aunt Rachel (Blazer) Given’s great-granddaughter
  • The granddaughter of Chase Noonan
  • House family cousins
  • Risley cousins (Julie & Becky!)
  • Stern family cousins

Through the newly found family members, I’ve also learned a bit more and was able to share what I’ve learned with them.  My experience has taught me that even though I enjoy the research and new information genealogy brings, I also need to focus on the family that is still providing history and stories for future generations.  Blink and it might be too late.

May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving and time with loved ones!

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At our first “Cousins” reunion in the summer of 2002, we all spread out in the garage, the kitchen area and the dining area to eat.  At the dining table there was a chair placed at the head/corner of the table with an empty place setting.  I assumed it was set there in case someone else chose to eat at that table.  I asked, “Who’s sitting there?”  My cousins told me that was an empty chair in honor of our grandmother, Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  So the empty chair became “Nana’s chair”.

On the rare or yearly ocassions that we are together for a pot luck picnic meal, there is an empty chair left at one of the tables.  Sometimes there are two – the other in honor of our grandfather, Glen R. Johnson.

I am very thankful that I was able to spend over 20 years of my life living close to my maternal grandparents and getting to know them as more than our matriarch and patriarch.  There isn’t a gathering where we do not tell stories about them or talk about some of the food that was cooked, who has Granddad’s ears or mannerisms, and how Nana made each one of us feel like we were her only grandchild.  They truly were two very special people who shared a great love far and beyond anything those of us who are their descendents could ever imagine or hope for in our own lives.

Photo: Glen and Vesta Johnson, 1967.  Original in possession of Wendy Littrell (address for private use).

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In the last few weeks I’ve been able to plow through some of the brick walls that I’ve run into during my research.  I mentioned some of them in this post, however, the ancestors I’ve found, weren’t listed.

  • My paternal 2nd great-grandmother Louisa Bookless (b. 13 Apr 1834 d. 26 Jul 1912) and her:
    • parents: David Bookless (b. 1808 d. 1848) and Mary Cartmell (b. abt. 1805 d. Sep 1839)
    • paternal grandparents: William Bookless (b. Unknown d. 1825) and Ann Cartmell (b. Unknown d. after 1842)
    • maternal grandparents: John Cartmell (b. abt. 1760 d. abt. 1813) and Ann Pierson
    • maternal g-grandparents: Nathaniel Cartmell (b. abt. 1732) and Sarah Russell and Alexander Pierson
    • maternal 2nd g-grandfather: Nathaniel Cartmell (b. abt. 1710)
    • maternal 3rd g-grandfather: Martin Cartmell (b. abt. 1685 d. 1749) and Esther
    • maternal 4th g-grandfather: Nathaniel Cartmell (b. abt. 1660) and Dorothy Poole
  • My paternal 3rd great-grandmother, Margaret Maple (b. 22 Dec 1808 d. 13 May 1851), and her:
    • parents: William B. Maple (b. 16 Jul 1778 d. 6 Mar 1848) and Mary Fuller (b. Apr 1782 d. 9 Apr 1850)
    • maternal g-parents: Thomas Fuller (b. abt. 1756 d. abt. 1824) and Lydia Hayes (b. abt. 1751 d. abt. 1817)
    • paternal g-parents: Jacob Maple (b. abt. 1734 d. bet. 1820-1822) and Elizabeth Stanford (b. 1749)
    • paternal gr-grandparents: Benjamin Maple Jr. (b. abt. 1696 d. 26 Nov 1777) and Sarah Clare Lee (b. 1700)
    • paternal 2nd gr-grandparents: Benjamin Maple Sr. (b. 1663 d. 13 May 1727) and Mrs. Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Lee (b. bef. 1676)

It appears that Benjamin Maple Sr. (my 7th great-grandfather) was born in Ipswich, Suffolk County, England and immigrated via Barbados to America as an indentured servant.  He arrived in America in 1688 at the age of about 25 and married the widow, Elizabeth Lee, about 1694 in Burlinton, New Jersey.  Elizabeth had one son, David, from her previous marriage and the couple had three children – son, Benjamin Jr., and daughters, Ruth and Catherine.  If he and his wife had other children, they were not mentioned in his will.

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