Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016 May 24: The book, The Jabezes in My Tree, is now at Amazon.com


  HOORAY!! The final version of the book, The Jabezes In My Tree, is finished, printed, and now listed on Amazon.com. Although the last 1% of the book felt like 95% of the work, in my heart I know that it wasn't that much. Once an author sees what the book will look like, it is so hard to wait til the final moment of publication. I was so impatient.

     A couple of weeks ago, I took a few sample books to California for a family party. The book was well received, especially by the many dsecendants of the Burns and McPherson families.  The photographs, stories and history of the times kept the readers turning the pages.  In addition, friends,  neighbors and my writing groups have also been very generous in the praise of the book.

     If you are interested in the lives and times of  the thirteen Jabezes of the Burns and McPherson family, you will want to buy a copy of the book.  Go to Amazon.com and buy a copy of The Jabezes In My Tree


    If you are interested in more stories of the McPherson family, go to Amazon.com and purchase a copy of  My Uncle Ralph Never Wrote to Me

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Synopsis: 2016 May 22: My Genealogy Nighmare

On April 26th, I published a story that has been of interest to me since I first saw the following words in J.P. McPherson's diary:

went to Lester's to thrash, but found my services were not required;At Nash's. Commenced to lift my potatoes.”

I had gone over the related entries several times, until I felt sure of the cirmstances and the folks involved. I had the 1850 and 1860 Census Reports; the 1860 Springdale, Wisconsin, Census listed the children, and none with the name of the father, Daniel B. Lester. I had a marriage record for Daniel B. Lester and his Scots bride Margrerte. I also had the Oak Hill Cemetery Record that listed a burial stone for Daniel B. Lester. To my mind, I also had the most important document, the Diary of James Peter McPherson. 

So why did I hit the genealogist skids!! A few weeks after I had posted this story, I was given a gift of a renewal to Ancestry.com. As was my way, I was putzing around the site, when I came across a reference in a family tree that indicated that a son, Daniel B. Lester, had died on May 15, 1862. 

Horrors upon horrors, did I make a mistake? Did I not check far enough back or forward to have been sure of whether this was the son, or actually the Daniel Lester of my 3x great grandfather's diary? 

 I went into serious research mode. Retraced all of my previous work. Expanded my search for Daniel, his wife and children thought the 1870s up to the early 1900s. I found a man who was most likely the son of this Daniel B. Lester, John R. Lester, but no further information on Daniel or Margrete Lester. Lastly, none of the family trees listing Daniel B. Lester on Ancestry.com had a date or place of death. 

My angst lessened. So what did I learn from this flurry of work? 

First, and foremost, I am a storyteller. I like the stories of times and lives past lived. Beware, storytelling has a life of it's own and it tends to lead one down slippery slopes. 

Second, I have the heart and training of a historian. I like the facts that support my stories. Researching is second nature to me and it gives my historical characters depth and breadth; it can breathe life into those who lived long ago. 

Third, document,docuent and document. Had I listed my resource documents, I wouldn't have gone into a panic mode. Also, the very fact of listing the documents, shows the writer where the nasty little holes in the story are. You can choose to have a hole and discuss why the hole is there, or just note that pesky little hole and get on with the story. 

 It's not easy to be a storyteller with a heart of a historian.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sepia Saturday, 331, 2016 May 21: Addendum to My Twin Aunts, Loise Aurelia and Joyce Maria Sigford


As I was cleaning out a bookcase yesterday, I came upon the Klamath County Historic Photo Album, Vol. II, which was published in 2003 by the Herald and News with the assistance of the Klamath County Museum.  I gave a copy of this album to my mother, Ruth Sigford.  She was sure that the following photograph included my twin aunts, Joyce and Loise.  Although this does not really fit this Sepia Saturday prompt, it is a continuation of my post.

My mother was positive that the photo included Loise and Joyce, front and center, where they liked to be.  Now my mother was somewhat notorious for giving me wrong information in the most positive manner.  I have often been called to task when I have taken her words for gospel truth.  However, looking at the photos, I am inclined to believe her in this instance.  According to family lore, during that period of time,  Loise and Joyce were the only twins in the County of that age.  I do not believe that they won the beauty contest because if they had, my grandmother would have had newspaper clippings galore and would have sent them to everyone in the family!  Of course the Great Depression was just ending, but not for my grandparents, so maybe my Grandmother had more pressing matters - like food and shelter. And then there is the fact that I had never heard about the time Loise and Joyce were in a bathing beauty contest before I found the photo in this album of historical photos of Klamath County, which gives a bit of doubt to the story.

Here is a cropped enlargement of the two girls.  What do you think?
To me, the girls rather look like my aunts.  I wish there was a way I could be sure.  Oops, back to the research stacks.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sepia Saturday, 331, 2016 May 21: My Twin Aunts, Loise Aurelia and Joyce Maria Sigford

Award Wining Babies!!  What a good prompt.  I immediately thought of my grandmother, Agnes Laura Keyes Sigford.  On February 19, 1907 she gave birth to twin daughters, Joyce Maria (pronounced "Mariah") and Loise Aurelia Sigford.  The middle names of the girls were in honor of their grandmothers, Maria Salsbury Sigford and Agnes Aurelia Brown Keyes.  If there had been cutest baby contests around, Grandmother would have entered the twins.  That was not the case.  Nevertheless, Loise and Joyce were well photographed. 

Until 1929, the Sigford family lived in relative comfort, not rich, but they had the necessities of life.  However, after the Great Depression, the family spiraled into poverty.  Their parents were in their fifties and had skill sets more suited for horse and buggy days.  Loise and Joyce found good jobs and made their way in the world.  They, Joyce especially,  helped their parents during their later years. 

 Here are some of the pictures of the twins.

April, 1907  Joyce and Loise
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

August, 1907, Loise and Joyce
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

February, 1908, Loise and Joyce at one year of age
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

1911,  Joyce and Loise
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

1914,  Loise and Joyce, seven years old
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

1914,  Loise and Joyce, seven years old
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

1921,  Loise and Joyce driving horse and buggy to
Lone Pine School, Klamath County
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

1928,  Loise and Joyce, 21 year-olds
at the Steel Place in Klamath County
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

Easter, 1937,  Joyce and Loise
Young Business Women in Portland, Oregon
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives
 Until 1937, Loise and Joyce seemed inseparable.  They both left Klamath County for jobs in Portland in the mid 1930s.  In 1937, Joyce headed to Juneau, Alaska to work at the Baronof Hotel.  Near the end of WWII she and her husband bought a berry farm in Puyallup, Washington, where they lived for many years.  Loise, returned to Klamath County for a few years, and then moved to San Francisco where she lived until she retired.  After Loise's retirement, she went to Puyallup to live with her twin sister.   They gardened, sewed, cooked, and  travelled in their later years.
1970s, Joyce and Loise
Bound for a Hawaiian Vacation
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

1993, A Last Birthday Celebration
Courtesy of Joan G. Hill and Roots'n'Leaves Archives

 Joyce sold her berry farm and the twins lived in a retirement community.  Every year they had a big birthday party and the Center's Hall.  The above is the last birthday party for the girls.

Joyce passed away on July 2, 1993.  Loise moved into a retirement facility near one of her neices, and spent several year enjoying the facility's activities.  It was often said that the facility's bus never left the grounds without Loise on board.  She passed away on July 20, 2000.

Although neither had any children, Loise and Joyce were well loved by our family.  

Oh, and my grandmother would have loved the photos  --- definitely award winning babies in her eyes.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: 2016 May 18: In Defense of "Little Booklets"

In Defense of Little Booklets

I have long been a fan of little historical booklets, researched and written by ordinary folks who had no other thought than to preserve a bit of history for those who did not live in those earlier times. So, a while back, when I posted a story about the White Pelican Hotel to my blog, I needed more information.

Although, I had some photographs of the White Pelican Hotel, my grandmother's memories and stories, and I knew that the hotel burned to the ground in the 1920s, my first act was to “google-it.”. Some information was forthcoming, but it was not very satisfying. Then I remembered the stack of little booklets I had tucked away. The sixteen little booklets, Klamath Ehcoes, were published by the Klamath Historical Society from 1964 through 1977 or so (the last volume is undated.) I have read and perused these slim volumes several times since I received the gift of the first one, some time in the early 1980s. So after a bit of browsing, I found what I wanted, an article written nearly fifty years ago by the then Managing Editor of the Klamath Echoes, Devere Helfrich. The article was rich in pictures and detail which added clarity and color to my grandmother's memories.

Later, I sat down and read again stories about my land and people in this Klamath Echoes (1967 Centennial Issue, Number 5). It was evident that much research and work by local folks went into this small publication. Old newspapers were scoured for tidbits that would build the scaffold for stories of old timers, buildings, the first ferry, vintage cars, stagecoaches, and more. Photographs found their way from private collections and albums to give visual substance to the stories and the people. Letters and written memories surfaced to provide first hand accounts of long ago events. Some of these photographs and written words are now in the archives of the Klamath County Museum, others remain in private collections, and some in albums and shoe boxes tucked away in some attic or closet. In my quick reverie of perusal, I found photographs that I had never seen before, sometimes in just a mish-mash of photographs, sometimes in an advertisement, or just as a filler, all onderful finds just waiting to be viewed again.

Yes, I am a fan of these little booklets. So I started going through my own small collection. My oldest booklet covers education in Klamath county from 1890 to 1960, which was put together by three well-known Klamath school teachers, each known to my mother, aunts and grandmother. These teachers, over several years, identified all of the little schools that dotted the landscape of Klamath county. Because the old records before the formation of the county unit in 1960 had been lost or destroyed, these dedicated teachers had to dig through old newspapers, notes and writings of former teachers and students, and interviewed folks in the communities. The little booklet, published “chapbook” style, was printed on an old stencil copier, which, to say the least, was messy and time intensive. Nevertheless, this booklet has stood the test of time and is used as the starting point for much of the past and current research on the County's schools.

My small collection of booklets represent the passion, research and interest of folks who wrote about potato farming, World War II years in a mill town, how the Klamath Indian tribe prepared wocus, or the pipe organs used in the early theaters. As I thumbed through these pages of history, I realized that I hadn't seen newer booklets for several years. I fretted that we might have lost that avenue of history provided by those special folks that lived the life of a farmer, in WW II, tribal member, or were telling the stories of their elders.

Later, when I sat down at my completer, I had received an email with a link to my local Rogue Valley Genealogy Society's publications. The first story was a well researched and well-told tale of ancestors; the next, a first-hand article about researching and putting names to old family photos with painstaking patience and a bit of online luck; and lastly, a meticulous research performed for person many states away who paid $15 for an obituary. That fortunate researcher received information on census reports, other related obituaries, and newspaper articles, as well as the requested obituary. A gift far beyond the request and worth many times the $15 fee.

Then I pointed my cursor towards the link for the Klamath County Museum (where I purchased several of my booklets, including the one on Klamath County Schools) and there was a link to online programs that the Museum had produced. Long-time Klamath County residents brought maps, photos, letters and stories galore to help the Director and Curator fill many hour long programs.

A bit later, an email notification flashed on my computer, notifying me of a post from a genealogy friend from across the ocean. As I read the post, I realized that a day didn't pass that I was privy to the stories about our histories, researched, written and produced by dedicated and passionate folks whose only motivation is the desire to preserve and disseminate stories about times long past.

I still treasure my little booklets, but I am comforted that in nooks and crannies throughout this wide world, there are those passionate individuals that are telling the stories of our past – not necessarily in little booklets, but they share the bounty of their research, whether it be on blogs and vlogs, on YouTube, in neighborhood societies, wherever they can find an audience, be it family, interested groups, or a link on the internet.

Those little booklets may be few and far between nowadays, but the researchers and storytellers are alive and well.

~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 May 16, Amanuensis Monday: J.P.McPherson's Diary, April 1 through June 30,1853

Diary entries for April 1 through June 30, 1853

April, 1853

1st Fri. Sold Mr. Fowlers Stock and implements.
2nd Sat. Helping John Conehan to build his chimney, forenoon. At store afternoon.
3rd Sun. At home.
4th Mon. Writing.
5th Tues. At Town Meeting. Elected Chairman of Town Board. Very high winds which blew off part of the roof of my house.
6th Wed. Got a small load of hay from Jackman. Doing Town business with J. Berge, T. Thomson & S. Shumway.
7th Thurs. Fixing roof of house. Burning at J. Conchans in the evening.
8th Fri. Posted letters to Ann Adamson and Co. Treasurer. Mary at Adam Davidsons.
9th Sat. At John Olegs. Bot. Oats & wheat from Baird. At Chandlers store and Shumways afternoon.
10th Sun. At home. Had visit from Mr. & Mrs. Jackman.
11th Mon. Making bettle and splitting rails. Mary at Lesters in the afternoon and all night.
12th Tues. Fixing fence – cut coat for D.M. Douglas – approve Town Superintendants & out.
13th Wed. Raining.
14th Thurs. At John Olegs, Hendersons, Lamonts and A. Davidsons. Helped Mr. Lyle to take a calf from Hendersons cow.
15th Fri. John Oleg ploughing my land for spring wheat.
16th Sat. Planted seed and Top Onions and sowed onion seed. Mary very bad with a sore ear.
17th Sun. At home – Mary in bed all day.
18th Mon. Mr. Jackman harrowed my spring wheat.
19th Tues. Making garden – sowed onion seed.
20th Wed. DO DO & Planting Potatoes.
21st Thurs. DO DO
22nd Fri. DO DO Set out seed Beets, cabbage, parsnips & r.bagas. Visit from Mr. & Mrs. Jackman.
23rd Sat. At Mr. Shumways making out road tax list.
24th Sun. At Mr. Miles with letters for Clerks of County Court and Board of Supervisors.
25th Mon. At the village, Town Treasures & H Hendersons. Granted licence to Charles N. Collin. Saturday last was a very stormy day. Snow fell in the afternoon and all night until noon on Thursday.
26th Tues. Sowed peas, beets, carrots & salad.
27th Wed. Planted potatoes, sowed Timothy & mustard seed.
28th Thurs. Raining all day. Mended pants.
29th Fri. Digging root house. Mary cut dress for C. Conchan.
30th Sat. Planting straw forenoon, digging cellar afternoon. Visited by Mr. Malone.

MAY, 1853
1st Sun. At Messers Jackman & Hendersons.
2nd Mon. Splitting rails & planting potatoes.
3rd Tues. Digging garden. Sowed tomatoes. Made out road notices for Jones, and agreement between Jackman & his brother-in-law.
4th Wed. Raining nearly all day. Recd letter from W Cairncross. Delivered agreement to Jackman.
5th Thurs. Raining. Chopping.
6th Fri. DO DO Posted letter to W Cairncross.
7th Sat. DO DO Made out road petition for W Thomson.
8th Sun. DO DO Made out road petition for H. Johnson. At John Bartells with M. Brown.
9th Mon. Raining. Plaiting straw. At H Borlands for PlumTrees.
10th Tues. DO Set out Plum trees. Mary at Lesters. At store.
11th Wed DO Making hat.
12th Thurs. Splitting Rails and Stakes and carrying them off the field. At Jackmans and Hendersons.
13th Fri. Ploughing with Mr. Hendersons team.
14th Sat. Laid out road between Jones and Lust. Mr. Henderson ploughed for me all day; delivered road notices to Wm Thomson.
15th Sun. At Mr Hendersons.
16th Mon. Planted potatoes and sowed beets. At Lamonts for flour.
17th Tues. Raining. Plaiting straw. Mr. Henderson finished my ploughing.
18 Wed. DO DO
19th Thurs. Planting corn for Mr. Henderson.
20th Fri. Dragging my corn ground. Mary planting corn.
21st Sat. Planting corn & beans.
22nd Sun. At home. Mary at Miles.
23rd Mon. Planting corn & beans.
24th Tues. Land hunting with Messers Murphy & Mahoney.
25th Wed. Planting corn. Sowed Parsnips.
26th Thurs. Made beds for Osage Orange and melons. Sowed Tomatoes & Peas.
27th Fri. Clearing for breaking assisted by J Conchan.
28th Sat. Planted corn and beans. At R. Menzies for oats.
29th Sun. At Miles afternoon. Mrs. Young killed by lightening in Patons lane.
30th Mon. Laying out roads by Wm & T Thomson. Sowed peas. Mr. Miles altered my calves.
31st Tues. Clearing for breaking with Mr. Hendersons oxen, assisted by J. Conchan. J. Bartlett commenced to break for me in the afternoon.

JUNE 1853
1st Wed. Planted sod corn. raining part of the afternoon.
2nd Thurs. Planting corn, chopping, etc.
3rd Fri. DO DO Finished breaking at 11 o'clock A.M.
4th Sat. Hauling rails assisted by Mr. Jackman and his team. Mary setting out cabbage Plants.
5th Sun. At home
6th Mon. Setting out fence poles & laying up fence.
7th Tues. DO DO
8th Wed. Laying up fence forenoon, at post office and A. Davidsons in the afternoon. Sowed Ruta bagas.
9th Thurs. Hauling fence assisted by Mr. Jackman and team, forenoon. Suponead in Shumway case. At A. Davidsons in the evening for flour.
10th Fri. Hoeing in the morning. At Squire Thomas's, Primrose as witness in case of Shumway vs. Holden. Decided in favor of Holden. Spoke to Henry Boland about the Heifer he sold to Jackman.
11th Sat. At John Conchans measuring his breaking forenoon – laying up fence afternoon.
12th Sun. At Miles forenoon – visted by Mr. & Mrs. Jackman, Mr. & Mrs. Beard, John Lynch & T Lander.
13th Mon. Working on the road at H. Bolands in the morning.
14th Tues. Laying up fence. At Wm Morichs bull with Bass.
15th Wed. DO DO
16th Thurs. Shifting and laying up fence assisted by Mr. Jackman and his team.
17th Fri. Hoeing corn for A Davidson. Wm & A Cairncross and Alex Smith arrived from Cincinnati.
18th Sat. Hoeing corn for A Davidson.
19th Sun. At Home.
20th Mon. Hoeing corn for Adam Davidson.
21st Tues. Hoeing corn for Self.
22nd Wed. At Madison with Messers Cairncross, Smith, Beard, & J Conchan.
23rd Thurs. Hoeing corn for John Edi.
24th Fri DO DO Self
25th Sat. DO DO Self
26th Sun. Visit from Dr. Singer. At Forbes land with A. Cairncross & A. Smith.
27th Mon. Hoeing my corn.
28th Tues. At raising of Geo Davidsons house.
29th Wed. Fixing fence and hoeing corn.
30th Thurs. At Mount Vernon forenoon. Hoeing corn for A. Davidsosn P.M.

 End of entries for January 1 through  March 31, 1853

~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sepia Saturday 330, 2016 May 14: Old Mimeographs and Memories.

When I first saw this photo prompt, I immediately thought of my  4th uncle, George Burns, the son of the Baptist Minister Jabez Burns.  Of course my thoughts go to the Burns family because those Burns have taken most of my thoughts during the past year or so.  Even though I know much about them, no pictures of George and his printing business.

The best I could do was to go back to when I was in high school and editor of the high school newspaper.  Back in those days I typed the waxed stencil sheets that wrapped around the drum that printed out page by page.  I was quite pleased with our efforts and thought we were so "with it" to have a mimeograph.  So I started looking for photos of mimeograph machines.

Although I saw myself so involved that I was sure that I looked a bit like this print by 
 Daniel Chodowiecki, in the public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17927966, but that was in my wildest imagination.   I thought long and hard about the first mimeograph we used, and was sure that it must have looked like the World War II mimeograph used by the Belgium Resistance, as shown below.

In actuality, the mimeograph was probably some place between the 1918 mimeograph and the illustration of a later mimeograph which are shown below.

Those were wonderfully fun days.  I thought I was so important, like a real editor.  Little did I know that many decades later, I would have published three books on my computer and printer, and another two by CreateSpace --- and have three more books in various stages. 

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications