Sunday, November 1, 2015

Back to the Jones'

from right to left back row: Stan & Lorraine Jones, Ruth Turbett Gustafson (by door), Ted Gustafson, Jr.
At table: Nanette Smith, unknown, unknown, Esther Jones, Lucy?, Unknown, Emery Gustafson

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Back to the grind after a 2 year hiatus...

Wow! 2 years without a post, just shows I've been too busy to do much research. But, I'm back! After a trip to Iowa 2 weeks ago, I'm now armed with new great info on my great-grandfather Thomas John Jones.  I had a chance to visit the Iowa State Historical Society in Des Moines and came away with 2 great documents on T. J. like his bio from a book that has an awesome title:

The Pioneer of Municipal Progress and Reform of the Middle West


The Largest, Most Populous and Most Prosperous County In the State of Iowa



By the time this came into print, T.J. was diseased. Sad that he didn't get to see it.  He died in August 1911 and the book was released in November from the printers.

PG 577 & 578

There are some brave souls whom no adversity casts down and no difficulty thwarts. They seem by divine right of mastership to turn every obstacle to advantage and the lesson of their lives is unanswerable argument in favor of the claim that man makes circumstances and that he has the power within himself to rise superior to every environment. Such is the teaching of the life of Dr. Thomas J. Jones, of Des Moines, who started as a poor boy in Wales and has won a. place alongside the favored sons of America. He was born in Wales, March 3, 1854, his parents being David and Margaret (Jenkins) Jones. The father was a veterinary surgeon. He died in 1858, leaving a widow and a family of five children practically without means of support. The mother like a brave and loyal-hearted woman faced the emergency and she continued the remainder of her life in her native country, passing away in 1893, when she was more than eighty years of age.

At the early age of ten years Thomas J. Jones went to work in the mines to assist in supporting the family. He received four shillings or about one dollar in American money per week. At sixteen he became a clerk in the grocery store of his brother-in-law, under whom he continued about two years, when his sister died and he was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade. According to the terms of the agreement he was to receive one shilling a week and board for the first year and two shillings and board during the second year. Before the close of the second year, however, he was offered four shillings a day to build houses for the operators of the mines and his master kindly permitted him to accept this offer, which proved an important step in his progress. At twenty-one years of age he became a contractor on his own account, making money which enabled him to provide more liberally than previously for the other members of the family. Shortly after this time he took up the study of medicine at home, purchasing books to which he devoted his spare time. Believing that the new world presented more favorable opportunities than he could expect to find in Wales, he came to America in February, 1883, and on the 7th of March following arrived in Des Moines where he readily found employment as a carpenter.

However, he had not given up the idea of continuing the study of medicine and in 1884 became a student in the medical department of Drake University, from which he was graduated February 19, 1887, with the degree of M. D. He took a post-graduate course in the Iowa Eclectic Medical College, receiving the degree from that institution March 15, 1889. During his attendance at university and college he worked at his trade and thus earned the money with which to pay necessary expenses. He practiced at Bevington, Iowa, until October, 1903, since which time he has successfully engaged in practice at Des Moines. He was the founder of the Seno Medicine Company of this city, which was organized in 1902 and has been in successful operation ever since, the Seno Powders having gained a splendid reputation wherever introduced. In 1907 Dr. Jones sold: his interest in this company to his brother and .shortly afterward put on the market the Heal-O Powder through the Berg Medicine Company, of which he is a heavy stockholder. He is a member of the National and Iowa State Eclectic 578 Societies, and takes an active interest in all movements calculated to advance his profession.

On the 29th of June, 1874, Dr. Jones was married at Glyntaff church, Treforest, Wales, to MISS Jemima Walker, who died in July, 1893, leaving five children, namely; David, who is engaged in the postal service at Des Moines; Margaret, the Wife of John Henry, of Bevington, Iowa; Maria, the Wife of Mote Newman, Of Spokane, Washington; Agnes, the Wife of Ralph Masser, of Spokane; and Anna, also a resident of that city: In March, 1895, Dr. Jones married Mrs. Mary B. (Steele) Bell, the widow of Thomas Bell, a native of Madison county, Iowa. By this union one, son has been horn, Arvon.

While a resident of Bevington Dr. Jones served as president of the school board. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and has served as medical examiner for that order for over twenty years, first at Bevington, and later at Des Moines. Politically he is identified with the progressive element of the republican party, and religiously he upholds the doctrines of the Methodist church. As a student of subjects pertaining to his profession he is tireless, being an indefatigable investigator who never counts time or labor spent in acquiring knowledge as to the cause and cure of diseases. His record is in a remarkable degree creditable, as he has won his way by rare perseverance and self-denial and is deserving of the confidence and esteem of all with whom he comes into contact.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Items

So, after posting an update to my personal blog to this blog, I decided to leave the post and just move on. As mentioned in that post, I attended a family reunion where we had a dinner that had 5 generations from Great-Uncle Dick at 86 to a 1 month old angle. I got to go visit Dick and Bev at their apartment and had a wonderful time.

A little back history: My great grandmother Carrie May delivered 8 children, grandma was born in 1905, while her youngest brother Dick was born in 1926 (Surprise!) So, when grandma started having children, (the first being Uncle Lou b. 1925), her mother was still having children. Dick & my mom were both born in the same year, so that meant they were in school together. However, no one ever knew that their relationship was as the school was very large and the did the classes in shifts (September and January starts) Uncle Lou, Dick & Mom did not see each other very often at school, but Dick often was at their house to play while they were growing up.

Bev brought out the family history box that she & Dick have. It was full of many wonderful things that I would love to get my hands on.

Purple Heart and Air Medal belonging to Willard O. Simpson
I did a post about Willard O. Simpson a while ago and saw for the first time his medals that Dick & Bev had in boxes.  On the left is his Purple Heart and on the right an Air Medal with 2 oak leaves. A description of the Air Medal can be found at:
A very interesting read.

More information on the Purple Heart can be found here:

Back of Purple Heart

Back of Air Medal
I also took a copy of a letter that said his body had been recovered, but that was followed by another letter that said they had identified the wrong person and apologized for the error. Of course, we know from the MARC records of another service man on the Marie Jane that Staff Sargent Willard O. Simpson was killed prior to them getting the bombs into Wilhelmshaven Germany u-boat pens, on the 21st of May, 1943. I can understand now why there was so much mystery around his death and the family didn't know exactly where his plane went down.

I very much enjoyed talking with Dick. He has a great sense of humor however, getting him to talk about his childhood was like pulling teeth.

June 2013 already

Vancouver has been wonderful! Being semi-unemployed, I've been able to do a great deal of genealogy research.  Spring here was beautiful. Watching the birds, squirrel and leaves come on the trees. It is amazing the changes that happened just in the month of May.

Special things that happened since I last posted:

A great trip to Indiana and Illinois with my mom to visit her sisters, see Chicago (pictured - flying into O'Hare). A tour of the parking lots at the Indy Speedway and many other exciting places. I got a couple things taken off my bucket list on that trip. We got to spend a week there visiting and touring.

Spent the winter going once a month back to central Oregon to O.F.C.O. for work. My retirement from them lasted to the week before Thanksgiving when they called with several disasters that I went down and cleaned up.  I've been going down about once a month since then to work and catch up.  Lots of changes happening there that are both good and bad.

Marlene, Karen, Susan at The Steer for dinner
My next trip with mom was to Iowa for her sister's 60th High School reunion and the "all classes" dinner. She also had her 60th Lutheran Hospital Nursing school reunion.  So, we threw in a Cousin reunion dinner on a Thursday night, then a Heggen/Simpson reunion on Friday night where there were 5 generations, from age 86 to age 1 mo. (This doesn't count the bun in the oven). Another trip that was very fun.
The trip home was not so great, our plane from Des Moines was delayed by an hour, causing us to miss our connection in Denver and we had to spend the night there, I was given the choice of separate room or sharing, so we had separate rooms for the night. Kinda fun :-)

My darling daughter Elin has only another week or so of school and she will officially be a Junior in high school. Holy Cr**! She has 3 days of what they are calling "newbie" soccer this week and also testing at school. Official last day is June 18th. I have to be back in Redmond on the 19th of June for 3 days; 1) to attend a retirement party, and 2) to get some work done.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New Research Finds

One of the things I have done in the last couple months, is create a spreadsheet that contains 3 tabs:

Tab 1: census extracts, I tried to include all the major categories in some way, generally a lot of info falls into the miscellaneous column, but I try to put as much as I can.  Doing this, I discovered that one ancestor delivered 10 children but only 6 survived. I now know why there are some big gaps in ages of the siblings.

tab 2: extracts from misc. databases like marriage, immigration info, military service or mentions in newspapers and books (not city directories);

tab 3: is city directories.

Headings for tabs 1 & 2
Year, Document, Location, Last, First, Age, Approx. Date of Birth, Misc., Birth, Occupation

Heading for tab 3
Year, Document, Location, Last, First, Address, Occupation ~( my goal here is to list all the names and address of my Des Moines, Iowa ancestors so I can figure out how they came together.)

All family members are listed, there is no separate page for different branches in the 3 tabs.  In listing people out this way, I have discovered such wonderful information; a 3rd G. Uncle was "adopted" by my  4G grandparents.

I set it up so that when I entered a year (document date) and the age of a person, it gave back an approximate year of birth.  Most all census' after 1850 give at least an age.

Once I got all existing saved documentation into the spreadsheets, I began really looking at the results. One of the nice things about spreadsheets is being able to sort. Data can be sorted by any of the headings. I sorted by name & age. I was then able to pick out the head of household and determine where I needed to search next.  Small details that I had never paid any attention to started showing up in following both census records and city directories. The main one was the different jobs that people had. Below are the jobs that I have found for 4 generations.

FarmerPhysicianDay LaborerPolice Officer
NurseCivil EngineerSheet Metal Worker  Door to Door Sales
ElectricianCarder - Woollen Mill   Roper dry goodsConstable
Shoe MakeCooperFiremanSoliciting Agent (Insurance clerk)
Shoe SalesmanShoe RepairmanLumber SalesmanCarpenter
Dairy Deliver Man   Postal ManagerLathererPlasterer
DraftsmanStore ProprietorClerk HardwareSales Lady/Postal Office
Custodian - Gun Club  BookkeeperTax CollectorTown Clerk

And I'm not even through all the family members.  So, I guess it is back to work on genealogy.  Till next time...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Wee! Here was the mission:
1) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel" - your software will create this - use the "Ahnentafel List" option, or similar). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?
3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."
4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.
5) NOTE:  If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then "spin" the wheel again - pick a great-grandmother, a grandfather, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!

No matter which great-grandfather I picked, I ended up with the same result, 19 so I'm settling on Ole E. Simpson, my mother's grandfather. He was born in in 1880 in North Branch, Jewell Co. Kansas and died Mar 21 1946 in Des Moines, Polk Co Iowa.  He was a Latherer by trade (installed lath, small strips of wood that made the walls back then).

The number 19 comes back to my cousin Carol Jae (Heggen) Patterson.

Carol is a couple years younger than me.  I always remember her as the straight woman for her older sister's jokes.  She has 5 beautiful children. Most of those have given her beautiful grandchildren.  Carol and her husband Joe follow in the time honored tradition of being farmers.  They work hard at both the farm and in their family showing their love for each other.  Carol is not on the computer much.  As far as I know, she doesn't use facebook, twitter or anything other than email. She uses email rarely. She is a rare breed.  2 of her 3 daughters are very active on facebook and if it wasn't for them, I would have no clue as to what was going on in this branch of the family. The boy's have their wives who do the posting. It is a fun branch having little ones in it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Time Lines and Jobs.

Since I last posted, I have little time to do genealogy research.  I had to spend 2 long weeks in my home town working, and did not have internet at my mom's place.  One of the good things that came out of the trip was setting up my father-in-law with an Ancestry account. I had been using Ancestry at the public library with some success, but now at home, with my other research tools and my own computer, I have made great strides.  I finally began a spread sheet time line of all the census, city directory, and misc. information from the internet that I had been saving on my laptop.

When listed on a census or in a city directory, I have collected the type of job an ancestor had. Where a job name repeats, it is for a different person, except in the shoe department.  The progression from works in a shoe shop to being a propriter is for one person.  Dates on this range from 1842 to 1940 and covers 4 generatons.

Constable, Collector
Town Clerk
farm Laborer
Works in shoe shop
Shoe Maker
Soliciting Agt
Road Supervisor
Shoe Salesman
Clerk Hardware
Book Keeper
Roper dry goods
Custodian - City Gun Club
Manager Postal ?
Traveling Salesman
Sales Lady Postal ?
Sheet metal worker
Salesman Lumber comp.
Fireman for electric co.
Propriter Shoe Repair
Delivery Man Dairy