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The topic for the 78th Carnival of Genealogy is: Pony Pictures.  I spent a lot of time watching the other neighborhood kids get their pictures taken on ponies instead of having mine taken.  I remember each summer a man would come walking through the neighborhood with the animal and coming on up the driveway wherever he saw kids playing.  One of my friends had three siblings so to save money, the parents put 2 kids at a time on the pony.  Running home, I found my parents working in the yard.  Breathless, I exclaimed that I wanted my picture taken on a pony.  When it was pointed out that it costs money for the picture, my hopes were dashed.  We just didn’t spend money on useless things.  Besides, what I really wanted to do was to ride on it – not just sit there.

I was 17 when I actually got to ride my first horse.  I went with my sister’s family to a relative’s (on her husband’s side) country house in Paris, Texas.  She had several horses and some ponies.  The first time I got on the pony, it promptly ran at a lower limb and knocked me off.  Fall off – get back on.  After riding around for awhile on that animal, I got up the nerve to try to ride a horse.  Wow – it was harder than it looked!  I sure didn’t get my riding skills from ancestors who had rode horses before me.

My maternal great-grandfather, John “Lafe” Johnson, had horses.  I don’t have a picture of him riding them. (*UPDATED 8/13)  *He also had several work mules.  The photograph below is one with him and 2 of the mules. (This large picture hangs on my hallway wall.)

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Gr-Grandpa Johnson with 2 large mules

My grandmother’s Uncle Dan (Stern) had horses – he used them to pull the wagon.

When my kids were young, we took them to Scarborough Faire Rennaisance Festival in Waxahachie, Tex.  There were elephant and camel rides so the oldest three got to ride VERY LARGE animals!  No horses for them – that would just be kid stuff compared to a camel & elephant!

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The marker for my maternal grandparents – Glen and Vesta Johnson.  They are at rest at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens, New Carlisle, Clark County, Ohio.  I took this picture on May 13, 2009 after my mother’s graveside service.  It had rained on and off that morning – so the dark spots on the marker is rainwater.  The inscription reads:

   Vesta C.                                              Glen R.
1898-1984                                       1898-1985

                      Together Forever

                             JOHNSON

The symbols are for Eastern Star and the Masons.

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They are buried in the Veterans area.

At the edges of the family plot are markers with the initial “J”.

Next to my grandparents is their baby daughter, Lois Evelyn, who died at 6 weeks of age – due to being premature and not being able to gain weight.

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Also buried in the family plot are my mother’s brother and his wife.  The picture below is of my grandparents’ marker after I put flowers in their vase.

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Rest in peace, my family.

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The 11th Edition of Smile for the Camera is “Brothers and Sisters”. “Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world?”

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Mom (Mary), Glen and Genevieve

My mom was the third child born to Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  Glen Jr. was the oldest, born in 1917, and Genevieve born in 1920.  The siblings had a baby sister born very premature in 1927 and who died at 6 weeks.   Mom always felt that her parents considered her brother the “golden boy” of the family and that he could do no wrong.  He was, after all, the oldest child and only son.  Mom and Aunt Genevieve were battling sisters.  One story I’ve heard is that when Mom had to wash the dishes, Aunt Genevieve would dry them but put them back in the “mix” to be washed.  When the two sisters got into it, my grandmother would sit them in chairs back to back and tell them they couldn’t touch each other or talk to each other.  And they they all got older, married, and had their own families.

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 Mom, John & Genevieve, Glen & Mary

This was probably one of the last photos taken of the siblings together before my Aunt Genevieve passed away in 1958.  My parents had been stationed in Japan since 1957 so Mom hadn’t seen her sister in at least a year.  As adults, the siblings visited each other for holidays and spent quite a bit of time together.  My mom and her brother grew very close especially after my grandparents passed away in the early 1980s.  Unfortunately, Mom lost her brother in June 2001 – just two months before she lost her only son.

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My sister, me, my brother

As the youngest of a family of three children, I felt more like an “only” child since my siblings were older than me.  My brother had been married 9 months by the time I was born and my sister was in high school.  A few years later she would be married and go on to have two children – who were more like siblings to me than my nephew and niece.  How I envied my brother and sister!  They had been able to live in Japan – not once, but twice!  They had gotten to grow up with our first cousins!  They had gotten to learn how to fly a plane!  What I didn’t learn until much later was how they envied me.  I got to live in the same house growing up, go to the same school, keep the friends I made and of course – have a swimming pool in the backyard!  My brother became the male figure in my life after my parents’ marriage ended.  How I did not like my brother telling me what to do!  My sister tried to be a sister but it was awful hard splitting loyalties between a young sister and her own two children.  She tried to mother me when I was an older teen but even that was difficult for her to do.  She wasn’t sure if she should be a sister, mother, friend or what.  We had many rocky moments in my early adulthood.  Even though we worked in the same area of the same building for the same company, it was very rare that we actually were “friends”.  It wasn’t until my first marriage ended that I realized what a treasure I had in my siblings.  Unfortunately my brother was several hundred miles away but my sister was still close.  We became much closer than we ever had.  Then she moved out of state – just when we’d “found” each other again and settled into a friendship.  Luckily as technology grew and we both became email “junkies” – there was hardly a day that didn’t go by that we didn’t email each other.  When she moved back to the area in the mid-90s, I’d spend hours sitting with her at her table just talking about everything and nothing.  We learned so much about each other that we hadn’t known before.  Once again she moved away but we remained close through email and ocassional phone calls.  The day she showed up at my house in March 2005 and told me they were moving back to North Texas, I think I cried continuously – out of joy – for days.  Even now it brings tears to my eyes.  I’m so lucky to have been blessed with such a beautiful, inspiring, and unique sister – who also happens to be my best friend.

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my brother – Jim

This was one of the last pictures I took of my brother – Thanksgiving 1998 – at our dad’s house.  Jim had moved away from our “hometown” area over a year before so he was even further away.  It was wonderful for both of us to share a holiday together with our dad.  Little did I realize that this would be one of the last times I saw Jim.  As I became older, he and I settled into a comfortable sibling relationship.  He was always one of the first ones to call me on my birthday.  Always quick with a joke or one of his “tricks”.  I could count on him to make me smile or laugh.  There was no laughing in August 2001 as he was deathly ill with pancreatic cancer.  There would be no more birthday phone calls, no more jokes, no more “tricks”, no more hearing him call me “sis”.  Now my sister and I have taken that mantle.  I don’t think we ever called each other “Sis” until after our brother departed this life.  I think that is our tribute to him and our hope that someday we can hear him call us that again. 

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My four kids were pretty close in age.  The oldest girls were 23 months apart, the next two were 19 months apart and then the last two were a little less than 5 years apart.  Traveling was always an adventure – especially after the youngest no longer needed to be in a car seat.  I had to be very careful who sat with whom and where the dog would end up as well!  The youngest and 2nd youngest shared a room and due to their ages being almost 7 years apart, they grew close.  However, they had their fair share of disputes.  They were like the Odd Couple – one meticulous – the other not!  The older three would play games together leaving the youngest one out.  They would all yell “He/She is touching/looking at me!”  Then they grew up.

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And became FRIENDS!  After a rocky start at young adulthood and their relationships with one another, I start smiling when I think of the brother finding out what a great oldest sister he had or the youngest and oldest sharing confidences or the fact that they call and email each other more than they do me!  I remember the day a long time ago I told them that someday they would be friends and the looks they all gave me!  

Three generations of “battling siblings” all turned into relationships of Best Friends Forever.  What a wonderful family legacy that is!

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The 65th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is “The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy” and will be hosted by Becky Wiseman (one of my distant cousins!) of Kinexxions.

I’ve had several “Oh, Yeah!” moments.  One of them I wrote about in A Goldmine – about discovering a box of letters written by my grandparents to each other when they were courting in 1916 and during 1918 when my grandfather went to Signal Corps Training and during his overseas duty during WWI.

Another moment I had was when I was looking for my maternal 2nd great-grandfather, Emanuel Bushong Stern.  As I was going through the 1850 Census looking for him in order to get information on his parents and siblings, I wasn’t having any luck.  Obviously, they had disappeared during the Census.  And then just by chance, I came across Peter Sterne living in Clay Township, Hamilton County, Indiana.  The last name was spelled wrong – with an “e” at the end of the surname but the names for known siblings was correct.  I think I jumped out of the computer chair at this find!

Another “happy dance” moment came a couple years after I had posted a query on a message board giving names of my paternal g-grandfather’s half-siblings and their children.  I received an email from the daughter of one of his nieces.  She had quite a bit of information about the Johnson line including the first wife of the man I was researching (James Wilson Johnson) who was my 2nd great-grandmother.  And my cousin was actually descended from James’ 2nd wife.  Since that time several years ago we have exchanged (with a couple other Johnson cousins) more information.

It doesn’t take much for me to do the Happy Dance!  Each tiny rock I turn over or piece of information I find that leads to bigger and better finds, is reason for me to stand up and shout “Oh Yeah!”.

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It is with wonder and thanks that I am able to see photos of the houses that my family and ancesters have resided through time.  As I locate addresses, I look them up on Google Maps in order to see what type of terrain they may have lived amongst.  Here is the “Parade of Homes”.

clawsonstoreAt left is the home my grandmother, Vesta Wilt, spent most of her late childhood and teen-age years living in.  It also contained the store run by her step-father, W. Frank Clawson.  It was located on Arrow Avenue in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  By the early 1920s, Martha and her youngest two children (Nellie and Clifford) moved to Leaburg, Lane County, Oregon.  Their home sat off of the clawson_house_oregonMcKenzie Highway.  My grandmother didn’t visit her mother “out west” until the early 1940s.  My mom didn’t even meet her grandmother until the late 1940s – after she’d married and had two children.  My Grandma Clawson lived in this home until her death on November 6, 1956 (several years before I was born.)

jljohnson_homeThis large home on Indiana Avenue in Anderson, Indiana was my grandfather’s home for many years.  Glen Johnson is seen as a child with his parents, Katie (Blazer) and John Lafayette Johnson.  After my grandparents were married, they spent their early married years living here.  This is where my grandmother spent long hours and days waiting on letters from Glen when he was in basic training for the Signal Corps in the early months of 1918.  This is where their oldest son spent his first years while his father was in France serving his country in WWI.johnsonhome_devonshire

Glen and Vesta lived in many different locations – Fairfield, Greene County, Ohio (now Fairborn), Washington D.C., Wiesbaden, Germany, Kettering, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio.  This is one of the homes they lived in during the late 1950s.  It is located on Devonshire in Dayton, Ohio.

Henry & Annie Amore's house in Roscoe
Henry & Annie Amore’s house in Roscoe
Cobbler Shop in Roscoe
Cobbler Shop in Roscoe

 

 

My great-grandparents, William Henry and Mary Angelina (Werts) Amore lived in this house (above left) on Center Street in Roscoe, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Above right is the shed that Henry used as his Cobbler shop.  He was a shoemaker by trade.  This was also the scene of the very first Amore-Werts reunion in May 1924. 

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My grandparents, Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore, resided above Roscoe Hardware Store in the early years of their marriage.  lloyd-amore-houseTheir first few children were born in the apartment on the upper floor.  They also lived in these homes – one in Coshocton and one in West Lafayette, Coschocton County.westlafayettehouse One of the homes they lived in on South 7th Street was built in 1900.  It was a two story, 1259 sq. ft. home with a full basement, two bedrooms and one bath with a detached garage.
amorehouseMy parents lived here when they were stationed in Japan in the early 1950s.  They had also resided in Milwaukee; Great Falls, Montana; Cincinnati and Columbus.  When amore-house-tyndallthey left Japan, they resided at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida.  They lived in this house (right) not quite a year.  My dad retired from the Air Force and they moved to what would become a suburban town outside of Dayton, Ohio.  It was in this home (below) that I grew up.
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By going to the county’s tax assessor’s web site, I was able to find out the particulars of this home.  The three bedroom, 2 bath, single family residential home was built in 1958.  It has a fireplace in the living room and one in the finished basement.  Heating is by oil and it has central air.  An inground swimming pool was installed in 1967 and improved again in 1977 (after my mother and I moved out).  The person who owns the home now bought it seven years ago.  They are the fifth owner since June 1989.  I believe there was also one other owner prior to that and after my mom.  Contrary to what the Residential information states, the house does have an attic.  It’s not one to walk around in, however that is where all of our Christmas decorations were stored through the year.  It also states it has gas – which it didn’t – unless something changed since 1977.  It is on city water although it does have a sump pump and most of my growing up years, we had a well (the water was much better!).

I am still trying to figure out how to determine where to find addresses that have changed over the years in order to get more information on some of the other homes of my grandparents and great-grandparents.  When I was a young girl, our house number changed – but I’m not sure where to find out that information (any tips?). 

If you know the address and the county of the home, some of the county websites or tax assessor/auditor sites have quite a bit of detailed information on the home.  There will be informaton on taxes, square footage, the current owner, number of rooms, bedrooms and baths, and perhaps a current photo.

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Some of my ancestors were “lost” at one point or another in their lives.  I find them in one census – then they are missing from the next one – and found again on the one following.  Unfortunately, it is always the census that could give me that extra bit of information – children’s names, a current spouse’s name, or even an age and location of parents’ births.

Those that I am desperately trying to locate include:

James Emory House b. 2 May 1842 d. 1 Oct. 1924.  I’ve located my g-granfather in the 1850 Census living in his parents’ (Florus A. and Julia A. House) home, age 8, Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1860 Census still in his parents’ household, age 18, Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1880 Census as Head of Household, age 38, living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1900 Census as Head of Household, age 58, Bethlehem Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1910 Census as Head of Household, age 67, Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1920 Census as Head (his son Alva Lester House is also listed as Head), age 77, Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.

He’s missing from the 1870 Census!  He was married to his first wife, Barbara (or Barbary), and their three children were born.  Since Barbara was originally from Guernsey County, Ohio, I’ve looked in that county as well as Coshocton.  I’ve entered just the first name, age, and born in Ohio to try to narrow it down to the possibility of the last name being misspelled.  I’ve also tried searching by his first wife’s name and the three kids’ names.  No luck. I suspect that they were in a pretty rural area or were in the process of moving at the time of the census.

Franklin Blazer b. 2 June 1836 d. 26 Aug. 1869. I’ve found my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1850 census living in his parents’ (John and Mary Ann Blazer) household, age 14, Fall Creek Twp, Madison County, Indiana.  Since he has died by 1870, the 1860 Census is the only one that will show that he was indeed the husband of Malissa (Goul) Blazer and father of her children including my great-grandmother.  I have checked the 1860 census records for the United States using his name without any luck. I’ve checked in Madison County, Indiana using either his first or last name or his last name with wild card characters in case it has been misspelled.  One thought is that my great-grandmother’s sister, Martha, was born close to the time the census was taken.  Perhaps they were in transit from wherever the birth ocurred to another location.

James Wilson Johnson b. 16 Aug. 1829 d. 31 Oct. 1917.  I’ve located my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1850 Census living in his parents’ (Jacob and Ann) household, age 20, Centre Twp, Rush County, Indiana; the 1860 Census as Head of Household, age 31, Centre Twp, Rush County, Indiana; the 1880 Census as Head of Household, age 50, Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio; the 1900 Census as a Boarder in the household of his brother’s widow/first wife’s sister (Dolly Mullis Johnson), age 70, Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio.  He’s missing in the 1870 Census.  I’ve checked in Rush County, Indiana and Madison County, Indiana and throughout the state of Indiana by his first or middle name and last name; by his last name and birth year, by “Johnston” (since it has been misspelled that way in other censuses) but no luck.  I think the family was moving from one location to another as there were reports that they also lived in Howard County for a short time.  The 1870 Census will provide information on his second marriage and the youngest children from his first wife.

These men aren’t necessarily brick walls – yet they have been lost somewhere in time.  More research is needed and other avenues will have to be explored.

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Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
‘Cause I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
written by Pete Townshend

glen-johnson-unknown-childI posted this picture on August 22, 2008 for Freaky Friday – 3rd Edition.  It is a picture of my grandfather (older child) and another unknown child.  I believe my grandfather was probably about 10 when this picture was taken and I am led to believe (due to the clothing) that the unknown child is a boy about 4-6 years old.  My grandfather didn’t have any younger brothers.  His foster sister was 12 years younger than my grandfather so it couldn’t possibly be her – dressed in pants.

So I ask – who are you little boy?  Could you possibly be a relative?

Possibilities include: Floyd Tyler b. June 13, 1906.  He was my grandfather’s first cousin, son of his paternal aunt, Olive Belle (Johnson) Tyler.  That would mean (since my grandfather was born in Nov. 1898) that Floyd would have been 8 years younger than my grandfather.  I haven’t determined if Floyd was born in Indiana but I do know he spent most of his life in and around Calhoun County, Michigan and was buried there.  However, some of his older siblings were born in Howard County, Indiana.

Could this child be glen-johnson-unknown-child-2Earl Goul, born June 15, 1904 and six years younger than my grandfather?  Earl was the second cousin of his as his grandfather, John Wesley Goul, was brother to my grandfather’s grandmother, Malissa Goul.  Earl was born in Delaware County, Indiana but spent time and died in Madison County, Indiana (where my grandfather was born and raised).

A very good possibility – looking at the following photos – is that this child is my grandfather’s half-uncle’s son, Guy Leston Johnson.  However, I would have to be off on the ages of both boys  as Guy was 10 years younger than my grandfather.  Here are the photos – the black and white was the earlier of the two photos.

guy-johnson-maybe guy-johnson2

 Whomever he is, this unknown little boy will continue to be a mystery to me until I determine his name and relationship.  Have you seen him before?  Perhaps in that stack of photos your great-grandparents left you?  Or in a framed photo hanging on a friend’s wall? 

This is why it is very important to not only label photographs – but to list the relationship of those in the photo.  Even if I had a name – would I be able to connect the dots back to my grandfather? 

This post was written for the 9th Edition Smile for the Camera – Who Are You.

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