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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

In honor of Father’s Day, I created a collage of my male ancestors – just as I did for the The Women Who Came Before Me on Mother’s Day.

Beginning at the top, left to right:
Joseph Napolean Wilt b. 21 Jan 1868 in Henry county, Indiana and d. 9 Jan 1944 in Nabb, Indiana. Great-grandfather
Israel Wilt b. 20 June 1823 in Timberville, Virginia and d. 9 Sep 1919 in Middletown, Indiana. 2nd Great-grandfather
Emanuel Bushong Stern b. 7 Oct 1834 in Montgomery county, Ohio and d. 10 Sep 1911 in Yale, Nebraska. 2nd Great-grandfather
Peter Stern b. 10 Feb 1810 in Washington, Pennsylvania and d. 12 Nov 1887 in Clarksville, Indiana. 3rd Great-grandfather
James Wilson Johnson b. 16 Aug 1829 in Byrd, Ohio and d. 31 Oct 1917 in Anderson, Indiana. 2nd Great-grandfther
James Emory House b. 2 May 1842 in West Lafayette, Ohio and d. 1 Oct 1924 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-grandfather
William Amore b. 6 Feb 1828 in Albany county, New York and d. 10 Feb 1896 in Franklin, Ohio. 2nd Great-grandfather
George Peter Werts b. Oct 1801 in Virginia and d. 29 July 1866 in Muskingum county, Ohio. 3rd Great-grandfather
John Lafayette Johnson b. 2 Mar 1861 in Rush county, Indiana and d. 28 May 1939 in Greene county, Ohio. Great-grandfather
William Henry Amore b. 10 Mar 1852 in West Lafayette, Ohio and d. 14 Jul 1934 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-grandfather
Glen Roy Johnson b. 21 Nov 1898 in Anderson, Indiana and d. 18 Jan 1985 in Beavercreek, Ohio. Grandfather
Lloyd William Amore b. 5 Mar 1882 in Lafayette, Ohio and d. 25 Feb 1955 in Coshocton, Ohio. Grandfather
Eugene James Amore b. 4 Apr 1921 in Coshocton, Ohio and d. 3 Dec 2015 in Fanning Springs, Florida. Dad

 

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This week’s theme is on “Military” so I am writing about the United States Air Force. Not only did my father and maternal grandfather serve but I was born at a USAF Base medical center. As Yoda would say: “The Force is strong with this one.”


Glen Johnson

My grandfather Glen Roy Johnson (whom I’ve written about several times before) entered the Army Signal Corps on February 5, 1918 during WWI. My grandparents had been married not quite 14 months and had a son who had been born in mid-December 1917. He went to basic training at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas before being assigned to the 14th Balloon company with training at Fort Omaha, Nebraska. During training, one of the balloons exploded killing two and injuring over 30. Either then or at another time during training, my grandfather’s hand became injured resulting in a permanent curve to two of his fingers.

Gen Pershing is 5th man from the right

My granddad left for France in July 1918. The day after they landed, General John Joseph Pershing insisted on inspecting the 14th and 15th Balloon companies. Years later in life he was quoted in a local newspaper as saying, “We were just off the transport after 11 days at sea and most of us hadn’t had a bath. He [Gen. Pershing] was quite impressed that we were enlisted men.” (The Fairborn Daily Herald. Lucille Rue. 8 Aug 1978.)


Photo taken of a display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
Caption reads in part: Balloon of the 14th Balloon Company – following Armistice

After returning from France and being discharged as a private, Granddad won a reserve commission while he was a civilian worker. It was to the Quartermaster Corps. At the time he was living in Greene county, Ohio in a town called Fairfield which would eventually become Fairborn (along with the merge of neighboring town Osborn). In 1942 he re-entered active duty in the Army Air Corps which would become the United States Air Force. He retired on December 1, 1958 as a Colonel.


Gene Amore – 1950s – Japan

My father, Eugene (Gene) Amore enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps on November 16, 1939. He went to Iceland in August 1942 where he was stationed for 15 months as an airplane mechanic with the air transport command. After he returned and following the marriage of my parents in December 1943, my Dad was stationed in Great Falls, Montana for awhile. In early 1953, he was sent to Tachikawa Air Base in Japan. My mom, brother and sister followed several months later. Most of the 1950s saw my family living in Japan through two tours of duty. He retired from the US Air Force in 1960. After returning to the Dayton area, my dad worked Transporation in Civil Service. During the Air Force museum’s move from a building off Broad Street in Fairborn, Ohio just inside the gates of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, my dad was responsible for the transportation of all of the aircraft, etc. to their new home located off of Springfield Street in Dayton – the present location.

I am very proud and thankful for my Granddad’s and my Dad’s service to the United States and the Air Force. The Air Force is in my blood. Each time I wander through the Museum filled with aircraft, artifacts, and history, I get goosebumps knowing that my family played a part in all of that.

(All pictures – original and digital in possession of Wendy LIttrell. US Air Force Logo – courtesy Wikimedia commons)

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In honor of Mother’s Day, I created a collage of all of the women who are my direct ancestors. After I was finished, I marveled that I had so many photos to use!

Beginning at the top, left to right:
Margaret Bushong b. 24 Jan 1814 in Ohio and d. 1 Jun 1888 in Hamilton county, Indiana. 3rd great-grandmother
Mary Angeline Werts b. 15 Feb 1855 in Coshocton county, Ohio and d. 5 Dec 1941 in Roscoe, Coshocton county, Ohio. Great-grandmother
Frances Virginia Ogan b. 29 Nov 1846 in Guernsey county, Ohio and d. 18 Feb 1915 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-grandmother
Margaret Catherine Maple b. 22 Dec 1808 in Coshocton, Ohio and d. 13 May 1851 in Muskingum county, Ohio. 3rd great-grandmother
Nancy Caylor b. 10 May 1840 in Indiana and d. 21 Dec 1900 in Noblesville, Indiana. Great-Great-grandmother
Melissa Goul b. 17 Oct 1832 in Champaign county, Ohio and d. 7 Mar 1907 in Madison county, Indiana. Great-Great-grandmother
Ella Maria House b. 22 Jun 1882 in Coshocton county, Ohio and d. 3 Jul 1946 in Coshocton, Ohio. Grandmother
Louisa Bookless b. 13 Apr 1834 in Muskingum county, Ohio and d. 26 Jul 1912 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-Great-grandmother
Martha Jane Stern b. 9 Feb 1872 in Clarksville, Indiana and d. 6 Nov 1956 in Leaburg, Oregon. Great-grandmother
Katie J Blazer b. 27 Sep 1864 in Madison county, Indiana and d. 20 May 1930 in Fairfield (now Fairborn), Ohio. Great-grandmother
Vesta Christena Wilt b. 7 May 1898 in Noblesville, Indiana and d. 19 Jan 1984 in Dayton, Ohio. Grandmother
Mary Helen Johnson b. 21 Sep 1921 in Anderson, Indiana and d. 1 May 2009 in Beavercreek, Ohio. Mother
Me!

 

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After losing a mother, it is especially difficult that very first Mother’s Day following her death, but it is especially trying when it happens all at the same time.

My mom died on May 1, 2009 – a Friday. Her memorial service was held on May 6 – a Wednesday. As soon as we returned to her home that day, the funeral home called – her ashes were ready to be picked up. Such a beautiful urn we had picked out for her – which was still sitting on the dining table when Sunday – May 10 – Mother’s Day – rolled around. In one sense, Mom was still there with my sister and me, and in another, she was now gone. We’d walk by the table – a room we had to walk through no matter what – and touch the urn lightly and say “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.” Bittersweet phone calls came from our own children to wish us the same. Yet, on that first Mother’s Day, without my mother, “happy” was not the right word.

A year later as a crisis unfolded among my family, it still didn’t feel like it should be “Happy Mother’s Day.” I was sad for many and had found it difficult to even look at greeting cards that year. Yet, I needed to find cards for my mother-in-law and my stepmother.

The years began passing by, always with the thought of Mom, but I kept busy and life was good. The middle of April in 2013, my mother-in-law had to be admitted to a local nursing home for hospice care. Her cancer was winning, and her fight was coming to an end. During my daughter’s baby shower on May 4 before we all left, we received the news that she was gone. What had been a joyous day filled with anticipation of the new little boy soon to be gracing our family turned into sorrow. The next morning – Sunday – we headed from Texas to Missouri to say our final goodbye.

Mother’s Day 2013 was on May 11, just a few days after my mother-in-law’s funeral. Instead of two cards that year, I only had to buy one to send to my dad’s wife.

Now, it has been nine years since that first Mother’s Day without my mom and five years without my mother-in-law. My dad’s wife is still with us – and so I continue to buy one single card. I am blessed that my three daughters are all mothers so I do send them cards. I am able to read Mother’s Day cards now and instead of grief, I smile and know that both Mom and my mother-in-law are aware of what they both meant to me.

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Ten years have passed since I started All My Branches Genealogy blog as a way to share stories about my ancestors, collateral relatives, and me. Cousins have found my blog and learned new things about our shared family. In turn, I’ve been able to collaborate with them about information that I didn’t have. 

I hope you’ll stick around for another ten!

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At a Snail’s Pace


Not my life – just my blog posts! In the last two months since my last blog post, life got busy. We had family in town, celebrated the baptism of the youngest granddaughter, found ourselves dealing with more snow, started preparing for our grandson’s prom, worshiped most of Holy Week, and dealt with more snow. My volunteer activities picked up speed – which meant I was in charge of presenting two different programs plus arranging programs for the local historical society.  

In the midst of everything, RootsTech happened. I watch the live stream keynotes and sessions from home. As has happened in the past, I became so caught up in new ideas of research and telling my family story, that I’ve failed to blog!

I have compiled a tour on Google Earth Pro of my great-great-grandfather’s travels from birth to death. Now to figure out how to share it with family. I’m also working on a PowerPoint presentation of the same person with added information.

I apologize for the break in posts, but I’m thrilled to have new storytelling ideas!

(Image from Wikimedia – Creative Commons license)

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Some of the prompts for this week included: sharing a family recipe; which ancestor/relative would you have come to dinner; or family dinner traditions. I can’t pick just one ancestor or relative that I would want to have for dinner – besides I wouldn’t want to spend time preparing, serving, and cleaning up because it would cut in to the time to visit! I decided on focusing on family dinners – those way in the past and not so distant past.

When I think about family dinners, I remember many things.. The first is how my niece and nephews and I all had to sit at the “kids” table for Thanksgiving or Christmas. That was not where I wanted to sit, and I wasn’t shy about letting my parents know! My mom always had the table decorated with a gorgeous tablecloth and her good china. Today, I have the same table and one set of the china! I remember Mom and Dad in the kitchen working together to get the turkey sliced and ready for the table.

There were years we went to Michigan for the holidays. Two of my dad’s brothers lived in Detroit, and my mom’s brother lived in Battle Creek. During those meals, there would be aunts, uncles, and cousins at the table.

Some meals of my childhood included Memorial Day picnics where we all sat outside in the backyard at our two picnic tables. Cold drinks and fresh watermelon as wel as Mom’s potato salad were on the menu. There were meals at my grandparents’ apartment with my Uncle and Aunt in attendance. One year during a birthday, all of us “kids” were squished around the kitchen table while the adults took the dining table or TV trays.

Me and my two oldest daughters – Thanksgiving 1984

After my kids came along, most Thanksgivings were spent for the most part in Missouri with all the extended family on my husband’s side. Meals were eaten anywhere someone could find a seat! Two years in the late 90s, we went to my dad’s for Thanksgiving. The first year we went, my brother and his wife were there. It had been the first time since I was about nine that I spent a holiday with my brother and my dad at the same time. It was also the very last meal I shared with my brother before his death almost 3 years later.


My dad Eugene Amore and my brother Jim Amore – Thanksgiving 1998

During my kids’ high school years, we would have their friends in and out – just as my mom had when I was a teen. There was one summer that one of my daughter’s boyfriends was at dinner almost every single evening. At Christmas, their friends, our son-in-laws, their parents, and extended family would join us at our church’s Christmas Eve service and afterwards, everyone would meet us at the house for our “appetizer” meal. Most evenings at home, our family meals were noisy with chatter and laughter. The funniest stories have come out of those meals. As our four children grew up, moved out, got married and had their own families, there were meals spent at their homes.

Many years ago at one of our family reunions, someone made sure to leave a chair empty as a remembrance to those who are no longer able to share our meals. In conclusion, what does “come to dinner” mean to me? It’s a sum of all of the meals I’ve had the priviledge to share with family in the past and to continue to share with in the future.

This is a post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for Week 4. For more information or to sign up to participate (all free!!), check out Amy Johnson Crow’s post: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

(Top photo: Wikimedia Commons licensed under Creative Commons)

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