Archive for the ‘personal’ Category


A few weeks ago, I received the results of my AncestryDNA test. Some of the information was just as I expected – more than 50% Great Britain and quite a bit from Western Europe. Knowing the amount of ancestors that came from England as well as Germany led me to realize that the test was pretty accurate. Then there was that 12% Scandinavian. Scandi-what? I couldn’t quite figure where that DNA came from unless it was so far back in history when the tribes from that part of the world went out to the area of Great Britain and Germany. The other explanation was that it came from those few brick wall ancestors that I had yet to go further back in time past the early to mid-1800s.

Comparing my tree with those people who were a DNA match resulted in quite a bit of Scandinavian surnames. Who are these people and how did we match? I was at a complete loss. Until Saturday. Yes, that explosion you heard coming from Mid-Missouri was a brick wall that imploded, tumbled down, and shook the earth with a magnitude large enough that it would have finally shaken California from its roots.

My brick wall ancestors include my 2nd great-grandfather’s (William Amore) parents. I have no names for them except that William had listed on the 1880 census that his father was born in England and his mother in New York. Then there is my great-grandmother, Frances V. Ogan (or Foster – depending on which census is used) who was married to James Emory House (parents of my paternal grandmother). Reports are that Frances was left on a doorstep. She was raised by Evan and Susannah (Fritter) Ogan who were old enough to be her grandparents. Then there is Abel Lewis (who I learned is a Jr) and his wife, Nancy (or Ann) Johnson (or Johnston).

Within the last six months, I have found enough documentation that Abel and Nancy Lewis were my 2nd great-grandparents. Their daughter, Julia Ann Lewis, was married to Florus Allen House and became parents to my great-grandfather, James Emory House. However, information for Abel Lewis was sketchy at best. Luckily, I found someone else who had been researching this particular Lewis family and contacted him. Not only has he provided more information and documentation but as soon as he did that, other doors opened.

Nancy Johns(t)on, Abel Lewis Jr’s wife, was the daughter of James Johns(t)on and Catherine See. I had come across the See surname in several of the trees of people who were a DNA match. It was beginning to make sense. Catherine See, my 4th great-grandmother, was the daughter of Johann Frederick Michael See (or Zeh) and Catherine Margaret Vanderpool. Going back one more generation, Catherine was the daughter of Wynant Malgertsel Vanderpool (or Van der Poel) and Catherine de Hooges – both born in New York in the 1650s. But in the 1600s, the area was New Netherland – a Dutch colony.

New Netherland map

Wait a minute, Dutch? As in Holland? Amsterdam? The Netherlands? Okay, that is Western Europe. Still not finding any Scandinavian ancestors. So let’s just keep moving back further. Catherine de Hooges was the daughter of Johannes de Hooges and Margarita Post. Johannes was the son of Anthony de Hooges and Eva Albertse Bradt – both born in North Holland and both died in New Netherland. Eva was the daughter of Albert Andriessen Bradt and Annetje Barents Von Rottmer. Annetje was born in Germany but Albert was born in – wait a minute – Fredrikstad, Norway! He was also an early settler of New Netherland; arriving with his wife and two children (one was my ancestor, Eva) at New Amsterdam (now tip of Manhattan) on March 4, 1637.

Albert’s parents, Andries Arentse Bradt and Eva Kinetis, were also born in Norway (and for those following along, Andries and Eva are my 10th great-grandparents!). I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg for me. The door has now been opened to my Scandinavian ancestors. So much has been written about some of these men who sailed from the Old World to the unknown of the New World in the 1600s. They were men who helped shaped what would become New York City, Albany, and the state of New York. They were businessmen and farmers. Their friends were the Van Rensselaers and other prominent Dutch upper middle class to upper class settlers.

For further reading, I urge you to plug in some of these names into Google and see what fascinating people they were!

(Images: both images from Wikimedia Commons; public domain)

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scientific testing photo from pexels

Oh happy day! Happy dance! I can’t stop gushing about a DNA match I discovered yesterday – less than one hour after I received my AncestryDNA results! A match that more than proved what I have assumed for many years – that Charlotte Reed is most definitely my 2nd great-grandmother!

If you remember, I offered up corroborating evidence in my blog post, Is This My Charlotte? but haven’t found enough documentation to say proof-positive that is the person I thought she was. But yesterday all of that changed when I discovered a DNA match that went directly to Lucy Minerva Imus (apparently the person’s tree didn’t go one generation further to Matilda Reed – Lucy’s mother). That means that I am related to the person who descends from Charlotte’s niece! The person I match is my 4th cousin!

Reed DNA Match Chart

Confirming that Charlotte is my 2nd great-grandmother confirms that Zachariah Reed born about 1793 in Maryland is my 3rd great-grandfather. So, who was his wife – my 3rd time great-grandmother?

Booya! One brick wall torn down! On to the next!

(Top photograph: free at Pexels.com)

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Eight years ago on April 18th, I decided to take the leap from a Tripod hosted website (which is still in existence) to a Genealogy Blog. I am still reaping the rewards of that decision! Not only did I become a part of the larger “genea-blogger” community but I’ve learned so many tips, tricks, and techniques for research and blogging!

In the last eight years, I have written 551 posts and received 664 comments. The blog has had 59, 547 views and 11,704 visitors (I don’t have a way of knowing how many views and visitors are unique or the same). The day I had the most views was September  6, 2014.

The best part of this journey is the distant cousins that have found me! Some of them had very little information about their family history until they found my blog. That is what keeps me excited about writing and researching.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll still be writing eight years down the road, but I hope you – my readers – will stick around as long as I’m here!

Thank you!

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Gene Amore; December 1969; 53 Cherry Hill Dr, Beavercreek, OH

Today marks the 95th anniversary of my dad’s birth. He’s no longer here to celebrate a birthday. He passed away on December 3rd – ironic because that was the day he and my mom were married in 1943. Ironic because they were divorced in 1973. It was also the day of my baptism in the early 70s. The funeral home that handled the arrangements was less than competent and never published a correct obituary. To honor my dad, I’m posting the full obituary – without worry of copyright infringement because this is the first time it has been published. I wrote it the day after he died. As the family historian, I’m like that. Yet, this obituary only gives a short snippet of who my dad was in life. It’s the first time since he’s been gone, that I’ve been able to publicly write about his life. I’m hoping to tell you more about the man I knew as Dad in the next few weeks.

Eugene James Amore (“Gene”) passed away at Tri-County Nursing Home in Fanning Springs, Florida on December 3, 2015 at the age of 94 from complications of a stroke and pneumonia. He was born to Lloyd W. Amore and Ella Marie (House) Amore on April 4, 1921 in Coshocton, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings: Gertrude Shackelford, Gail Amore, Marie Quirk, Paul Amore, Norman Amore, Bervil Amore, and Maxine Amore; son James G. Amore; and stepson Edward Mottl. He was also preceded in death by his wives, Dorothy (Thackston) Amore and Florence (Smith) Amore. He is survived by his wife Joan Bateman of Chiefland; daughters: Michele (Bill) Broughton of Bonham, Texas and Wendy (Charlie) Littrell of Mendon, Missouri; stepdaughters: Joan Michele of Ocala and Gail (Bob) Kane of Tarpon Springs; stepsons: Tom (Debbie) Mottl of Bellview and Pete (LaVonn) Bateman of Houston, Georgia; grandchildren: Patrick (Toni) Newhouse, Penny (Shannon) Cornelius, Brian Amore, Shannon (Phil) Haney, Teresa (Alan) Coleman, James Sumner, and Jasmine (Ivan) Hammon; seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; numerous step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Gene enlisted in the Army Air Corps on November 16, 1939. In August 1942, he was assigned to Reykjavik, Iceland to train as an airplane mechanic with the Air Transport Command and returned to Coshocton in December 1943. From there he went to Milwaukee, WI; Great Falls, MT; Tachikawa AFB in Japan; Tokyo, Japan; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; and Panama City, FL. He retired as a MSgt from the US Air Force in 1960. He was employed in civil service – transportation and logistics at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside of Dayton. He retired from civil service in 1972.

Gene had his pilot’s license and while living in Japan, was a member of the NCO Aero Club. He enjoyed listening to Country and Western, singing karaoke (especially “That’s Amore’”), and playing keyboard. Gene was raised in the Salvation Army and the Nazarene church. As a young man, Gene took after his older brothers and had a paper route in Coshocton. He played the trumpet in the Salvation Army band as a youngster. He was a Golden Gloves boxer in Coshocton in the late 1930s.

Gene and Joan were married in 2003, went on a cruise and spent time traveling to visit family. They were regulars at VFW Post No. 5625 in Chiefland, Florida and the Suwannee River Moose Family Center 325 in Fanning Springs, Florida. Gene was a Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8532 in Coal Hill, Arkansas. Up until his stroke on October 12, Gene regularly fed the birds (and squirrels) in his backyard, mowed his lawn, and took care of little things around the house. His daughters, grandchildren and family members have always remarked on Gene’s sense of humor, positive attitude, and longevity. He will be remembered with love, affection, and admiration from not only his family, but a whole host of friends and extended family.

Gene did not want any services. His ashes will be interred at Royal Oak Memorial Gardens in Brookville, Ohio in July 2016. As a remembrance, raise your glass to him.

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In celebration of my daughter’s and son-in-law’s third wedding anniversary, I’m posting a photo from the wedding.

(Digital image in possession of Wendy Littrell – address for private use.)

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state genealogy chart

I happen to be Facebook friends with many geneabloggers so when Judy G. Russell (the Legal Genealogist) posted her chart last night, I knew that there would be many others who would do the same. Judy was inspired by J. Paul Hawthorne (with whom I’m not familiar). By morning, I’ve counted no less than five from those I do know.

I had already decided last night that I would do one for myself – boring though it may be – and use it as a blog post. So this is what I created (see above). Pretty repetitive!

The top half signifies my paternal branch and the lower my mom’s. William Amore – my paternal 2nd great-grandfather was born in New York. My dad’s maternal great-grandfather, Florus Allen House, hailed from Connecticut. See the two Virginia blocks on the far right top half? Those are for Evan Ogan and Susanna Fritter Ogan – the couple who raised my great-grandmother, Frances V. Ogan House. I don’t have a biological component to add there but I didn’t want to leave those two spots blank because then the chart would look lopsided.

I have a 2nd great-grandmother who was born in North Carolina – Amanda Evaline Mullis (wife of James Wilson Johnson); a 2nd great-grandfather born in Virginia – Israel Isaac Wilt who married Elsy Nash from Pennsylvania. Other than that – we are all predominantly Ohio or Indiana born!

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Disregard the child (me) making a silly face in the photo. Look at my surroundings. Okay, I was clearly spoiled. Look at all that stuff! Regardless, I enjoyed every single one of those objects and toys, and I took care of them.

The blackboard is where I wrote “lessons” for my dolls. From an early age, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. Now, I realize that I didn’t really have a calling to be an educator – at least not to children. Back then, that young girl would not only draw – with colored chalk (my favorite!) – but write math problems and spelling words! Some of my dolls got very good grades but others not so much!

The record player was a favorite of mine. I listened to kids songs on my 45s (remember those?) which are held in my record organizer. I learned the words to Ferdinand, Farmer in the Dell, and so many more! I loved singing along with my favorite songs. I also used it to play “Read-Along Stories.” Back in my day, some books came with a 45 to be played while you looked at a story book. “Turn the page”!!

I loved my doll house! I received that for my birthday, and it gave me hours of play time! I handed it down to my oldest two daughters for awhile before it got stored in the attic. Last summer, as we gathered all of our belongings together to pack, give away, or trash, the doll house came down from the attic. I had forgotten that it was up there. I don’t have any granddaughter’s to pass it down so I let it go in the trash. All the furniture and dolls were lost eons ago.

Seeing the electric candle in the window tells me that this photo was taken around Christmas time. See that ceramic dachshund on the window sill? Today, my daughter has that – along with its twin and another one.

The Mary Poppins game was a favorite board game. I liked it so much that my grandparents bought one that they kept at their apartment for me to play with – along with their great-grandchildren. My kids were able to play with that game for quite awhile. Like the dollhouse, the game had seen better times so it was left behind when we moved.

Next to the doll house, was my table and two chairs. I spent hours sitting at the table writing and drawing. I also held tea parties there. At one point, someone (I don’t remember if it was me or my niece or nephew) spilled water on the table causing the laminate to buckle. I do remember at least one time when I was sick, that I got to eat my lunch in my room at my table!

On the wall is a Hummel wooden piece of art. I believe that it is wrapped up and in a box stored in our basement right now.

Those curtains are pretty colorful! As with most of the draperies in our home, I believe my mom made those.

The bookcase holding my record player, books, and games was white with trains. When mom and I moved from the house to a townhome in April 1977, that bookcase went to the basement and held more books, photo albums and other stuff. It was still in there when my mom passed away.

This photo makes me sentimental because each of those objects and toys gave me so many hours of creative pleasure as a child. Some even made me happy seeing my own children use them. What photos of your childhood playthings makes you smile?

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