Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review and the Ancestor Approved Award

I am a little slow posting this, but I'd like to thank Travis over on TLGenes for the Ancestor Approved Award he passed to me in early December.  This may also be a good time to reflect on 2010.

The Ancestor Approved Award comes with two requests:
  1. List ten (10) things that you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.
  2. Pass the award to ten (10) other genealogy bloggers.  (I'll do this in 2011, after I've caught up in my blog reading.)

In 2010 while tracing my ancestors I have learned:
  1. Roots run deep!  I'm constantly amazed at how geographically close my family lines have lived and continue to live.  I have cousins from different sides of my family that knew each other growing up.  (Check out the map in "It's a Small World After All" post)
  2. Label all pictures!  While boxes of unlabeled photos elicit some pretty neat conversations and lots of memories, labeled photos provide a much nicer collection of family treasures.  Grandma Leola (Workman) Crapser had a nice collection of family photos and treasures. Even after several rounds with my grandpa and his cousins, the subjects of many of the photos are still unidentified.
  3. Neighbors Aren't Nosy!  They're just detectives in disguise. You may find that a former neighbor may be able to provide clues to the lives of your ancestors.
  4. Read All About It!  Small town newspapers are notorious for sharing little bits of information about all the people around town.  You may find your ancestors visiting a cousin or friend and this information may just lead to more research for you.
  5. Readin' and Ritin' weren't as Important in the Past!  Check all possible variations of a name's spelling.  Was that "Jorenby or "Gorenby"?
  6. The Informant is as Important as the Information!  Take note of the sources of the information you are collecting.  The census and the church baptismal record are guaranteed to provide you with different birth dates.  And the census taker's informant may not have remembered all the details with precision. 
  7. Running in Circles Can Be Fun!  Elusive ancestors need to be found. While researching those elusive ones sometimes the only data you can find leads you to data you already know in a different format.
  8. Back Up Your Data!  After losing my data in a computer disaster, I learned the hard way to back up the data.  Also store a copy of the data in another location or in a fire-proof safe.
  9. Keep in Touch!  When meeting cousins for the first time, be sure to trade contact information to share future discoveries.  The wave of social media - Facebook, blogs, instant messages, and even - should help genealogist keep tabs on cousins.
  10. Give and Take! I mean SHARE!  Share your research with your cousins.  Take research shared by others, but give credit where credit is due and double check the facts. Give of your time and talents to aid other researchers.  Opportunities exist everywhere to do a little discovery for the good of genealogy.  Join us over at the Ancestry World Archives, if you have some time to spare.

As we reflect on 2010, let us dream for 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Checking Out the New Toys

Yesterday, I watched as my nieces excitedly unwrapped their presents.  Wrapping paper ripped and thrown about, new clothes glanced at and tossed aside as the nifty new toys were discovered.  OH!! (with big eyes) ... Zhu Zhu pets! ... Web Kinz! ... an art set! ... a dolly! ... And the littlest niece said "SWEET!" as she opened a gift containing more pieces to the Princess castle she got for her birthday in October.

Flip-Pal mobile scanner
The Flip-Pal Scanner
With all of the unwrapping complete and the place to myself again (not that I don't enjoy the company!), I thought I'd check out my new toy too.   On my Christmas wish list this year was the new Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner.  This is the scanner that is bound to make scanning large items, like scrapbooks and framed pictures, easier.

After a couple rounds of scanning a marriage certificate for Great-Grandpa Oral Crapser and Great-Grandma Leola Workman, I haven't quite mastered this nifty new toy.  Supposedly, to scan large items you take multiple overlapping scans and then on the computer select the images to be "stitched" together.   The scanning is easy, but the stiching is coming out quite interestingly.  The first result looked like this:

Then I got an almost perfect stitch, though the center looks a little warped.  It has also been determined that the marriage certificate itself had been trimmed at some point in time.

And then just to ensure we all have the right perspective on my nifty little tool:

That's right, I went after a smaller piece of paper - a receipt for the marriage license fees - thinking it would be easier because it would only take 2 scans.  HA!  I guess a little more practice is in order before the upcoming Jorenby family reunion!

Here's to hoping Christmas brought you many joys!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday's Obituary: Martin B Christianson

From the Hendricks Pioneer,  30 August 1962 edition; accessed from (

Funeral Rites For M.B. Christianson

Funeral services for Martin B. Christianson were held Monday, August 20, at Calvary Lutheran church in Hendricks with Rev. H. R. Schafer officiating.  A family service preceded the 2 p.m. rites.  Interment was in the East cemetery at Hendricks with DuWayne Luze, Curtis Luze, Lyndon Nelson, Roger Grimlie, Donald Grimlie and Don Mennis serving as pallbearers.

Mrs. Carvel Johnson served as organist, and also accompanied a mixed quartet comprised of Mrs. Wilbert Blake, Mrs. Clarence Nygaard, Hans Hegstad, and Carvell Johnson.  The quartet sang "Does Jesus Care", and Msrs. Johnson and Hegstad sang "Den Store Hvide Flok."  Mrs. Teddy Mathison sang "Beyond the Sunset" at the family service.

Martin B. Christianson was born in Alamaca county, Iowa, September 9, 1876, to Bore and Johanna Chrisitianson.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.  He was united in marriage with Ingeborg Singsaas November 28, 1905 by the Rev. Salenstin*.  To this union were born five daughters and three sons.  He died at the Hendricks hospital August 17, 1962, at the age of 85 years, 11 months and eight days.  He had made his home at the Hendricks Retirement Home since the fall of 1958.

To mourn his passing he leaves four daughters, Thelma of Sioux Falls, S.D., Merl (Mr.s Alvin Oien) of Hot Springs, Mont., Alyce (Mrs. Hjalmer Grimlie) of Astoria, S. D., and Irene (Mrs. Harold Luze) of Brookings, S. D.; two sons Ervin of Missoula, Mont., and Vernon of Fort Peirce, Fla.; three brothers, Emil, Anton and Selmer of Hendricks; three sisters, Mrs. John Fjerstad of Watertown, S. D., Mrs. Oliver Sommervold of Toronto, S. D., and Mrs. Julia Tiller of Hendricks.  There are also 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife, one daughter, one son, and his parents.

To his family he was known as a kind and loving father, and will be missed by those remaining.  Blessed be his memory.

Editor's note: In a previous article on Ingeborg Singsaas the pastor was listed as "Rev. T. K. Solensten", which I believe is the correct spelling.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Follow Friday: Newspapers Collection on has an excellent collection of newspapers from small towns.  One of the papers is the Hendricks Pioneer and several members on my mom's paternal line are from the Hendricks, Minnesota area.  Unfortunately, it is subscription based.  I've signed up for a 7 day free trial so I can view several editions though.  I found several articles already this week on Singsaas family members. also has the WWII diaries available for FREE this month.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Small Cowboy

Here's another photo from Grandma Leola's collection:

I have no information about this photo. Who might this boy be? Where do you think this may have been taken? What do you suppose this youngster is up to?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

News from Hendricks Pioneer: Harold Luze visits Grimlie and Nelson Homes

I found this news clipping from the November 30, 1967 edition of The Hendricks Pioneer via

On Page 6 of the November 30 edition, it reads:

"Birthday guests Sunday at the Hjalmer Grimlie home for Mrs. Grimlie's birthday were Mr. and Mrs. Linden Nelson and family of rural Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Luze of Brookings and Mr. and Mrs. Blaine Grimlie and Charleen.

Visitors at the Linden Nelson home of rural Toronto Friday evening were Mr. and Mrs. Hjalmer Grimlie, Rodger and Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Luze of Brookings and Mrs. Donald Mennis and boys of Minneapolis."

I find the clippings from these old newspapers telling of the recent visitors to a home quite interesting.  You just never know when that distant cousin will show up in the local paper. 

I had never considered what the paper would look like after a holiday though.  The November 30, 1967 edition of The Hendricks Pioneer was published the week following Thanksgiving.  There were several columns of clippings just telling the world where everyone spent their Thanksgiving weekend.  Here's a small sample:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday to Margie!

Eighty years ago on December 22, 1930, Mrs. Margie Quam was born.  Today, about 105 people turned out to help Margie celebrate her youth!

Cousin Bonnie put together this neat little video to display various pictures of Margie and the family.  Check out the video:

Happy 80th Birthday, Margie!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Ornaments - oh, the horrors

Just read Amy's tale of Christmas ornaments from her childhood (Holiday of HORRORS!). I laughed, but then I remembered my family loves to keep things too ... uh oh ...

Mom? Dad? You don't have any edible ornaments stored in those Christmas boxes, do you?

And to my sister, who sets up a tree in each of her 3 daughters' bedrooms for the purpose of displaying all those handmade ornaments - Their edible ornaments from years past aren't hanging, are they?

Found Perfect Reason to Upgrade the Genealogy Software

Tonight I found the perfect reason to upgrade my Family Tree Maker software.

I've been eyeing Family Tree Maker 2011 since it was released a few months ago. It has all sorts of nifty new features, that this techie has just gotta have.  After all, my last upgrade was in 2005!  That's 6 versions of cool features I'm missing!  So I put it on my Christmas list this year, hoping Santa might bring it. 

Well, tonight my cousin contacted me, needing names for her family tree project at school. (Yeppers, the very same project that fueled my passion!!)  In an effort to get a report to her, I remembered I hadn't reinstalled Family Tree Maker since my little back-up disaster in September.  I've been working off of printed or electronically filed information instead.  When I did reinstall FTM 2005, I had nothing but problems.

I ended up taking screenshots and sending those her way.  Then to end the frustration, I had (that's right HAD) to purchase FTM 2011. 

 ... Sorry, Santa, you'll have to find something else to bring me!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Church Record Sunday: Melbourn Crapser and Minerva Lewis Married

I just realized that I didn't post the information on grandpa Melbourn's first marriage in the Searching for Melbourn Crapser post.

This record was gleaned from the Kiskatom Circuit Marriages page on Greene County New York Rootsweb site.
Kiskatom Circuit - Methodist Church - 1859-1888 - Marriages
25 Dec 1877: Melbourn W. Crapser to Minerva Lewis, both of K, at the bride’s fathers near Britts Corners, wits., Osca (?) H. Morey & Lizzie Lane.

Note: K= Kiskatom.

It appears this church was the church that Melbourn's maternal line attended.  Melbourn's mother was Louisa Lane; her cousins and ancestors has surnames of Lampman, Overbaugh, Saxe, and Linzey.

Sunday's Obituary: Barbara Shrode

The following obituary was acquired from Vernice Danforth's book titled Conrad Shrode's Civil War Diary And Genealogy, printed in May 1976:
Mrs. Barbara Shrode
Barbara Workman was born at New York state February 25, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. James Aspel, near McIntire, Iowa, April 12, 1926 at 8:30 a.m.

When a girl she moved with her parents to Broadhead, Wisconsin, where she grew to womanhood, and joined the Evangelical church of which she remained a life member.

She formed the acquaintance of Mr. Conrad Shrode and when he was home on a furlough, after being honorably discharged at the expiration of his term of enlistment in the Civil war, she was united in marriage to him, March 9, 1864.

He soon after re-enlisted and served his country until the close of the war, and was honorably discharged December 16, 1865.  to this union were born eight children, one died in infancy and one daughter, Libbie Cole, died about eight years ago.

Her husband, after years of public and private service to his country here below, left at the call to the better country on July 10, 1913.

They spent most of their lives together on a farm in Jenkins township, Mitchell county, Iowa.  In 1910 they moved to Riceville, Iowa.  After Mr. Shrode's death, Mrs. Shrode resided in their Riceville home until failing health made it advisable for her to be no longer alone.  Then she went to live with her daughters,  Mrs. may Reep, of McIntire, for two years, thence among other children, spending the last part of her life with her daughter, Mrs. Ella Aspel, where she quietly went to sleep on April 12, 1926.  She leaves three daughters, Mrs. Sadie Eliason, of Zion City, Illinois; Mrs. Ella Aspel and Mrs. May Reep of McIntire; and three sons, William, of McIntire; and Eugene and Charles of Riceville, Iowa.  Also one sister survives of the family of seven children, Mrs. Sarah Eastman of McIntire.  Besides these she leaves twenty-six grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church at Riceville on Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m., cunducted by the Rev. Felterand Rev. Mr Pease of Limes Springs, a former pastor.  Interment was made in the beautiful Riverside cemetery, at Riceville, Iowa.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Norwegian American is ...

The following snippet was found in the  Wicks family tree book put together by Irene Jacobsen around 1980.


...someone who sings "Jeg er so glad hver julekveld" at Christmas-time and says "Uff da meg" all year around.
...someone who can eat krumkakke without shattering it on the first bite.
...someone who eats lutefisk, but only at Christmas.
...someone who wears a Norwegian sweater for a parade in July.
...someone who shudders when you call kringlas "pretzels".
...someone who can butter lefse without tearing it.
...someone who ascribes minor disasters to trolls, mediocre ones to Swedes, and major ones to God.
...someone who has to have real butter on his or her flatbrød.
...someone who gets a little misty eyed over the exhibits in the Norwegian American Museum.
...someone who talks about Leif Erickson on Columbus Day.
...a Lutheran who's patron saint is Olaf.
...someone who rarely says "ja" without attaching "sure, you betcha".
...part of a group that names its ball teams "Vikings" and "Norseman" in hopes that Thor and Odin will notice and remember the good old days.
...someone who names his or her children: Knut, Ole, Jake, Tom, Chris, Kristina, Inger, Margit, Solveig, Gunhild.
...someone who thinks Nordic Fest is more than a summer reunion.
...someone who enjoys "Scandinavian Days".
...someone who can eat dessert after "Kumla"
...someone who eats KUMLA!!!!
Flavors of the Fjords: The Norwegian Holiday Cookbook

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends and fellow genealogists! (Not that genealogists aren't friends!)

I'm thankful for my family, for without them I would not be here or have anything to share on this blog!

I'm thankful for family, friends, and fellow bloggers who listen/read and provide additional information or suggestions to aid in new discoveries.

I'm thankful for the Geneabloggers group for providing inspiration in my research, writing and sharing of genealogical tidbits.

And I must not forgot to be thankful for the folks who take the time to transcribe, digitalize, locate and share genealogical references.  Without those kind folks, I would not be as far along in my research!

Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From the Jukebox to the iPod

An interesting tidbit from (via Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter):

World's First Jukebox

File this under "How Our Ancestors Lived." 121 years ago today, the first jukebox is installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It become an overnight sensation, and its popularity soon spread around the world. Four stethoscope-like tubes were attached to an Edison Class M electric phonograph fitted inside an oak cabinet. The tubes operated individually, each being activated by the insertion of a coin, meaning that four different listeners could be plugged into the same song simultaneously.

You can read more in the web site at

Today's iPods and MP3 players offer the ability to go for a run and still listen to your tunes.  Add in portable speakers and you can share your tunes with all your friends.   Gotta love the advancements in technology!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Share a Story

As you gather around the table this week to share that turkey, I encourage you to also share a story of days gone by. 

Here are a ideas for topics:
  • What did you do for the holidays?
  • Where were the holidays celebrated?
  • Who did you visit?  Who came to visit?
  • What traditions does your family have?
  • Which foods were made?  Who made the food?  Is there a special recipe?
  • What happened while everyone was sitting around the table?
  • Was someone known for stealing food off of someone else's plate?
  • How did the weather affect your holiday plans?
I also encourage you to write the story down or record it so it can be shared with future generations. 

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder (VN 6200PC)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Small Boy

Here's another interesting article out of Grandma Stella Jorenby's files from not so long ago.  It doesn't mention the boy's name, but those that know the family can narrow it down pretty well.

THE SMALL BOY has been defined as an appetite completely surrounded by noise and dirt.  Saturday, in the canyons of the supermarket, Mrs. Lyle Jorenby's small son, silent and scrubbed, fitted only the first part of that definition as he wishfully stopped at the rack of cool-aid drink powder envelopes and then beamed a cinamascope-wide smile as his mother selected several envelopes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: wedding photo?

Today's photo is another unidentified photo from Grandma Leola's collection.  I've read that many photos staged like this are "wedding" photos. 
From Leola's Unknown Photos

Looking at this photo now, I'm seeing the lady may be several years younger than the man.   Could this photo have been taken around 1900 in eastern South Dakota or Minnesota?  Could this be Melbourn Crapser and Teolina?  Melbourn would have been about 40 years old and Teolina would have been about 20.  I don't have any other pictures of Melbourn or Teolina handy, so I don't have anything to compare.

If you have any information or suggestions for this photo, please comment below.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Carroll Jorenby Military News

First, you're probably wondering what "Amanuensis Monday" is, right?  Well, it's a daily blogging prompt over on Geneabloggers to encourage the transcription of documents, audio files, and other artifacts of family history.  Today's transcription comes from news clippings found in Grandma Stella Jorenby's family scrapbook.

Awarded Certificate For Contribution
Mannheim, Germany - Sgt Carroll O. Jorenby, son of Mrs. Stella Jorenby, Volga, was awarded a certificate of appreciation recently by his organization, the 63rd Tank Battalion, for making a major contribution to the Armed Forces March of Dimes Campaign for 1951.

The certificates were awared ____ll members of the battalion, ___h is performing occupation ___n Germany, who contributed  $10 or more in the fight against infantile paralysis.

Sgt. Jorenby, a tack mechanic in Company B, by his contribution of $10 to the worthy cause aided the tank battalion in reaching a total collection of $4,187.85 for the campaign, an average of $5.70 for every officer and man assigned to the unit.  The total collected was one of the highest for battallion-sized units in the European Command.

The certificate, signed by Lieut. Col. Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., commanding officer of the 63rd Tank Battallion, says that Sgt. Jorenby is commended for his display of generosity and charity in the March of Dimes campaign and closes with the statement: "By your action you have proven that the American Soldier is willing to protect the citizens of his country against all foes, of which infantile paralysis is one of the most deadly."

(Editor's note: How many of us deserve certificates of merit for what we did in the March of Dimes campaign?  If the boys do the fighting, we might at least pay the bills.)
A second article reads:

2 Armored Men Receive Awards
Fort Hood, Tex. - For outstanding performance of duty during recently completed Exercise Three Pairs at Fort Hood, seven officers and seven enlisted men of the 2d Armd Div. were recognized with special awards.

In a ceremony following the exercise critique, Maj. Gen. W. H. S. Wright, 2d AD commander, presented the Croix de Caliche and the Order of the Armadillo to 14 men.

The awards were authorized by the exercise director and were designed to parallel the Silver and Bronze Star Medals taht are given for valor in combat.

The higher of the two awards the Croix de Caliche was given to Maj. Marvin L. Butcher, 37th Armor; Lt. Don E. Hillier Jr., 50th Inf.; MSgt. Manuel Madruga, 51st Inf., and Sgt. Kenneth E. Lee, 15th Cav.

Those receiving the Order of the Armadillo were: Lt. Col. Charl__ C. Clayton, 66th Armor; Capt. ___ T. Undercoffer, 15th Cab.;  Lt. ___ J. Gruber, 58th Inf.; Lt. Theodore S. Wilkins, Hq Combat Command C; Lt. Michael R. Rodman, 16th Arty.; SFC Carroll O. Jorenby, 50th Inf.; SSgt. Robert L. Lockart, 14th Arty.; Sgt. Bernard F. Willis, Hq.. CCB; Sp4 William R. Moore, 78th ___y and PFC David C. Kinney __  __y.

Pieces of these news clippings are torn and/or folded, indicated by ___ in place of text.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A little more about me (...and it's probably about time)

I have for so long used the same old, short little blurb about how I caught the genealogy bug. 
I enjoy family history in my spare time. This hobby of mine began with a history class assignment in 1999 and the discovery that my grandparents and great-grandparents had all worked with their family trees. I took their research and expanded it using the web.
After reading several other genealogy blogs, I've learned a bit about those other bloggers that helps me understand where they're coming from and what they have to offer.  My little blurb doesn't offer any great insight or wisdom.  So I offer this updated About Me:

I caught the genealogy bug in 1999 during a high school history class assignment.  Yep, that makes me one of the younger genealogists.  But I come from a family that has a knack for history.  In my younger days my family re-enacted the Civil War era and my dad, uncle and some cousins still re-enact various time periods.  That was all fun, but as I got older I also got busy with school, extra-curricular activities and work. 
It was during that history class assignment where I rediscovered that I really did enjoy history.  I started asking grandparents for the required information and learned that most of my grandparents and great-grandparents had been collectors of family history.  I had within my reach names, dates, pictures, news clippings ... all the good genealogy stuff.  This wasn't enough for me, I needed to organize it on the computer ... 'cuz I can be pretty handy with a computer.  So I bought software to start my family tree and started plugging in all the data.  Then I discovered the plethora of online sources including,, and Cyndi's List of references.  One thing led to another and I caught the genealogy bug.
Then I graduated from high school and went on to get a degree in Information Technology.  This led me into my current full-time position as an "Enterprise Content Librarian", which in English just means that I figure out what documents the company is storing and what data needs to be stored with those documents to ensure they can be found again.  It was this position that made me realize that I hadn't really taken the time to make the information in my family history collection easily found again.  Thus came the web site "Penny's Genealogy Pages" and my blog "Penny's Genes".

I think that is much better and offers more insight on the road that got me here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Congrats to the Cox family on their new baby!

Congratulations to cousin Tommy and his wife Kandy on the birth of their little boy Carter Thomas Cox! He was born on November 8 and weighed 8 lbs 9oz.

Friday, November 12, 2010

1955 Fire at the Jorenby Farm

I was recently given a news tidbit from the Brookings Register dated November 6, 2010.  The article "Memories from Brookings Past", notes:
55 years ago 1955
... The farm home of Mrs. Stella Jorenby on the west side of Lake Campbell was destroyed by fire.  ...
The intersting part of this is that cousin Shari, from the Laabs side of my family, recently mentioned this fire at the farm.  Here's what Shari remembers:
When [Stella] first moved to the Lake Campbell farm, the house was an old structure that had once served as a hotel and post office for the town of Lake City, a town that did not survive. Her house was the last remnant of the town, though the farmhouse I lived in had an addition that was said to have come from a house in Lake City. Sometime in the mid fifties, the Jorenbys installed an oil or gas furnace in the basement. The sons were doing the work themselves and unfortunately did not vent the furnace. The first time it was fired up, it burned the house down in the middle of the night. They replaced the house with a prefab ranch house that was not completed on the inside. They spent many years completing that house.
Shari's brother Doug remembered the fire a little differently:
According to [Doug] the fire occurred in the daytime, and the Brookings fire truck drove into our yard looking for their farm. Although our farms abutted, they were not connected by a road, so the firetruck had to go about four miles farther to get there and of course were too late to save anything. Doug says that the Jorenbys had bought a wood-burning furnace, not an oil furnace, and that they intended to burn corncobs in it. For that reason they had had the cornsheller deposit the cobs in their basement, rather than in a pile in the yard. Of course the basement full of corncobs was great tinder for the fire.
To my Jorenby cousins, can anyone verify the details of this fire for me?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring Our Veterans

To the men and women who have given the greatest sacrifice,
THANK YOU for your sacrifices.
To the soldiers currently fighting for freedom and democracy,
THANK YOU for your service.
To the wives, mothers, and children waiting patiently back home,
THANK YOU for your patience.
To the wounded who deal with their pains and memories every day,
THANK YOU for your sacrifices.
To the doctors and nurses who come to the aid of those wounded in war,
THANK YOU for your service.
To the soldiers still missing, taken prisoner, or returning unknown,
THANK YOU for your patience.
To the soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen; young and old, at home and afar,

Today I pause to remember the veterans in my family who have given the greatest sacrifice:
Kenneth Anderson, Vern Carter, William Carter, Allen Christie, Larry Crapser, Fay Crapser, John Fish, Charles Gillman, Burton Jorenby, Carroll Jorenby, Donald Jorenby, Frank Laabs, Joseph Lane, Alfred Luze, Dale Luze, Adelbert Printup, Bernard Singsaas, Merle Taylor, Erwin Waage, Tom S. Wicks, David Workman, Richard J. Ziegler, and Richard L. Ziegler.

I also thank the veterans who stand strong with us today:
Justin Benthin, Jerry Boellaard, Cal Christie, Don Crapser, Maynard Crapser, David Jorenby, Lyle Jorenby,  Allen Luze, Curt Luze, DuWayne Luze, and Danny Sharp.

Thank you for your service and the sacrifices you've made!

P.S.  If I've missed a veteran, my apologies.  Please feel free to comment on this post and let me know.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Fancy in Sac City Iowa

Here's another photo from Grandma Leola's collection.  I do not know who the girl in this photo is.  The photographer's mark on this photo indicates the studio was called Adams and was in Sac City, Iowa.

From Leola's Unknown Photos

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mappy Monday: Waage Family Migration Map

In 2005 I put together a book for the descendants of John and Ida Waage.  While creating the book, I found myself wondering where all the homes were located.   In an effort to document that, I pinpointed all the named locations on a Google map.  Below is the result.

View Waage family emigration in a larger map

Locations pinpointed on the map include
  • Haugesund, Rogaland, Norway
  • Skanevik, Hordaland, Norway
  • Lisbon, IL
  • Roland, Story, IA
  • McCallsburg, Story, IA
  • Fulton, Hansen, SD
  • Volga, Brookings, SD
  • Lake Sinai, Brookings, SD
  • Arlington, Brookings, SD
  • White, Brookings, SD
  • Lake Campbell, Brookings, SD
  • Fremont Township, Moody, SD

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy 121st Birthday to the Dakotas!

On November 2, 1889 North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted to the union by proclamations signed by President Benjamin Harrison.  They were the 39th and 40th states to join the Union.

Interesting Fact:  The order in which the proclamations for North Dakota or South Dakota were signed is unknown. 

The actual statehood proclamations for North and South Dakota were intentionally shuffled so that no one actually knows which was admitted first; President Benjamin Harrison always refused to tell the order in which he signed the two statehood bills. However, North Dakota's proclamation was published first in the Statutes at Large (since it is first alphabetically).
Happy Birthday, South Dakota and North Dakota!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Searching for Melbourn Crapser

As promised on Thursday, here is the story of how I discovered the Marriage License for Melbourn Crapser and Libbie Walker:

When I started researching Great-Great Grandpa Melbourn Crapser, I knew the following:
  • He was born in New York in 1858.
  • His father's name was Timothy.
  • He married Teolina Kjolseth, my Great-Great Grandma. Teolina was born in 1878.
  • Melbourn and Teolina had seven sons between 1900 and 1915 in South Dakota. The seven sons were Lawrence, Cecil, Harold, Oral (my Great-Grandpa), Lyle, Ray, and Marvin.
So I started my search for Melbourn in New York.  In the 1880 U.S. Census records I found a record of Melbourn, Minerva and Percy Crapser in Catskill, Green County, New York.

I discovered the Greene County History and Genealogy site and learned of many interesting leads to the Crapser line.   I found a biography for Melbourn, baptismal record, and cemetery records.

From the Mini Bios for the Men of the Town of Catskill:
Melbourn W. Crapser was born at Kiskatom, Catskill, April 29th 1858, and married Minerva Lewis. They have two children: Percy L., born August 18th 1878, died December 11th 1881; and Charles M., born July 12th 1880.
 From the Kiskatom Reformed Church Baptisms 1843-1930:
Infant baptisms by Rev. Geo. J. Van Neste

Jan 27, 1885 Charles M., b. Jun 13, 1881, Nathan L., b. Jul 18, 1883, Melvin W. Crapser, Minerva Lewis, at Nathan Lewis'
And from the Round Top Cemetery records:
Percy L. Crapser b. Oct. 18, 1878 d. Dec. 11, 1861*
Charles M. Crasper b. Jan. 13, 1880 d. Mar.23, 1905
Nathan L. Crasper b. July 18, 1883 d. Mar. 27, 1905
*Transcription error.  Based on Melbourn's biography in the Mini Bios listed above, Percy's death date should be 1881.
So we've acquired four more relatives (and a possible 5th - "blank" headstone pleads for answers) and identified Catskill, Greene County, NY as an early home. Then I realized Melbourn was still missing for 15 years. He was in New York in 1885 and didn't reappear until 1900 in South Dakota. Where was Melbourn for these 15 years?

I started digging through census records for New York and South Dakota, trying to locate him in either Greene County, NY or Brookings County, SD. A vast majority of the census records for 1890 were lost in a fire and South Dakota and New York were amongst those lost.  I did find him in the 1900 census for South Dakota with Grandma Teolina.

Hold on here though ...  The 1900 census also lists four children, Minnie, Delbert, Laura and Lewis. These four children were born in 1888, 1894, 1896, and 1898 respectively. But Melbourn and Teolina only had seven sons and only one son that was born in 1900.  Who are these children? 

A closer look at the census record indicated that Melbourn and Teolina had been married 0 years and Teolina had 0 children!  (View the census image)   Who is the mother of these four children? And where is she?

Then because the census record indicated the children were born in Illinois, I searched the online Illinois archives.I started by searching for birth certificates for Minnie, Delbert, Laura and Lewis.  I was unable to find Illinois birth records at the time, though it wouldn't hurt to try again.

While searching for other Crapser birth certificates in the South Dakota records, I did find a delayed birth record for an Adelbert Timothy Crapser.  This record wasn't filed until July 1942, but lists his birth date as June 17, 1894 and the parents as M W Crapser and Elizabeth Crapser.  I'm assuming this is our Delbert.

Then I began thinking ... For what reasons would a mom "leave" her children?  On another side of my family a mom left home to care for an ailing relative. Death was another possibility.  The youngest child, Lewis, is less than two years old in 1900 (born in June 1898) and Melbourn remarried a little over a year after Lewis' birth (August 1899).  Did the mother die during childbirth?

So South Dakota death records were searched.  I found Melbourn's death record for August 6th 1938, but nothing for an Elizabeth, Libbie, Lizzie, "E", or "L". 

Returning to the Illinois Archives, I finally found a marriage record for Melbourn Crapser and Libbie Walker in Chicago, Illinois!  I was able to identify which marriage record to request and sent a letter off to the Illinois Regional Archives.  A couple weeks later, I received three copies of the marriage license in varying copy settings from lightened to darked (AWESOME! I wouldn't have thought to do that, but all three show slightly different detail!)

And, of course, the marriage license led to the new discoveries of Boone County and Cook Country in Illinois, which led to more research in Illinois.  I also found burial records for Great-Great-Great Grandpa Timothy and a Robert Crapser, who is listed as the son of MW&E.
Round Prairie (aka Coynes) Cemetery, LeRoy Twp, Boone Co, Il.
Last FirstName BirthDate DeathDate Notes-Row
Crapser Robert H 17 Jan 1894 s/o MW&E; 2y 1m 24d 1/43a

Crasper Timothy 27 May 1825 23 Jun 1895 1/43b
*The link to the site I found this on no longer works, but it was a Boone County Cemetery page on Rootsweb/USGenweb.
But, the story doesn't end here.  Melbourn and Teolina divorced on July 8th 1919 and Melbourn disappears again!  He's missing from the 1920 census, which was taken in January. His children from Libbie have been adopted or married and Teolina remarried in March 1920 (and then had 2 more children - daughters this time!).  He is also missing from the 1930 census, the last available census record that can be viewed by the general public. As previously mentioned, Melbourn died on August 6,1938 in Brookings County. 

So one final mystery remains, where was Melbourn W Crapser between July 1919 and August 1938?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Marriage License for Melbourn Crapser and Libbie Walker

Today's treasure is the marriage license for my Great-Great Grandfather Melbourn W. Crapser and his second wife Elizabeth ("Libbie" or "Lizzie") Walker.

From Penny's Genes

The Marriage License reads:
To any person legally authorized to solomnize marriage greeting:

Marriage may be celebrated between Mr Melbourn W Crapser of Popler Grove in the County of Boon in the State of Illinois of the age of 28 years and Ms Libbie Walker of Popler Grove of the County of Boon in the State of Illinois of the age of 26 years.

Witness: M.W. Ryan, clerk of the County Court of said Cook country and the seal ____ of my office in Chicago this 28 day of September A.D. 1886.
M.W. Ryan, Clerk of the County Court

I, Lee M. Heilman, a minister of Gospel hereby certify that Mr. Melbourne W. Crapser and Miss Libbie Walker were united in marriage by me at Chicago in the County of Cook and State of Illinois on the twenty eighth day of Sept 1886.
Lee M. Heilman, Pastor Grace Luth Ch

Witness: Miss Laura Walker.

More to come ... (There is a story about how I found this one!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: a Hobo Day parade?

Last week was South Dakota State University's homecoming week, Hobo Days.  I wonder if this photo found in Grandma Leola's collection might be of a Hobo Day parade.

From Leola's Unknown Photos

Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow Friday: The We Tree Genealogy Blog
Amy Coffin over on the We Tree Genealogy Blog has a neat idea, Fun with Search Terms.  This caught my attention, maybe because I deal with data, documents and retreival of the data and documents all day long at work.  Amy takes the time to shed a little light on how users can better find the information their looking for, even when it isn't actually part of her blog.  Thanks for pointing us all in the right direction, Amy! 

On a whim, I decided to look at search querries for my blog ... "geneablog", the one and only search term.  Keeping with Amy's tradition - here is the Geneabloggers site.

Also of note Amy and I share a common (way too common!) name "Mary Smith".  I predict my Mary Smith line will be right near impossible to discover though.  My Mary married a Michael White.  Their daughter then married the son of William Carter and Margaret Miller!  This is my Alonzo Carter and Lorena White family line.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: An Evening at Earl Carroll Theatre

In Grandma Leola (Workman) Crapser's collection of photos, I found a folder containing a photo of Leola at the Earl Carroll Theatre Restuarant in Los Angeles, California.

The back of the folder indicates it was purchased from "Hollywood Nite Club Photos" in Los Angeles on April 22, 1940 for a Total Price of $1.50.

From Leola's Crapser Family Photos

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tech Tip: Tag Photos For Easier Comparisions

After scanning my Grandma Leola's collection of photos and memorabilia, I frequently found myself digging for similar photos.  I see a photo of a farm and wonder if that was the same farm in another picture, but alas it is impossible to remember where that other picture is. 

Then I realized that Google's Picasa photo program had a tagging feature, so I could be adding tags or keywords to all the photos as I went.  Windows Explorer (at least with Windows Vista) also allows you to add tags to photos.

Now as I review pictures I have scanned, I tag them with words like kids, dogs, horses, farm, and cars.  I also tag any photographer or location references that are on the pictures. 

When all the pictures have the appropriate tags, it should be easier for myself and others to look through any photos of farms and identify if they are the same farm.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mystery Monday - A Carnie in the Family?

From Leola's Unknown Photos

I wish I knew more of this photo's story. The photo was found amongst the photos from Leola (Workman) Crapser's collection.   I have heard that one of the Crapser brothers was a carnie.  I'm not sure which which brother, which carnival company or even the location at which this picture was taken though.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Changing It Up ... already!

Since discovering the Geneabloggers site, I've discovered that my blogging themes of Tuesday's Treasures, Thursday's Theories, and Saturday's Stumble Upons just don't match up well.  If I were to follow the daily blogging themes provided by Geneabloggers, my posts might be found easier by other genealogists.  So on that note, I'll be changing things up a bit and following the Geneabloggers blogging prompts.

Don't worry, I'll still be sharing my picture collection - just during Wordless Wednesday or Treasure Chest Thursday now.   You may also be seeing more treasures like marriage certificates and immigration documents during Treasure Chest Thursday.

I've also noticed that one of the Tuesday prompts is Tech Tuesday.  I enjoy writing tech tips (I know that sounds crazy!) and enjoy my genealogy, so I'm sure you'll be seeing tips from me!

I see I've acquired several new followers this week since joining the Geneabloggers group.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoy my adventures in genealogy and blogging!

Sunday's Obituary: Thore Singsaas

Following one of the daily blogging prompts from the Geneabloggers ( ...

The obituary of my Thore M. Singsaas, my great-great-great grandfather, was originally published in the Hendricks Pioneer, Hendricks MN on Friday, August 9, 1932.  The copy below was found in the "Sodbusters, Sunbonnets, & Singsaas Immigrants" family history booklet.

Tore M. Singaas was born in Singsaasmoe, Norway, on November 30, 1849, and passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Peter J. Ramlo on August 12, 1932, being at the time of his death 82 years, eight months, and twelve days of age.

In the year 1870 he was united in marriage to Karrie Ingebrigtsdatter, and to this union were born ten children, three of whom died in Norway.

In the year 1890 he came to this country with his family, arriving at Canby, Minnesota, the 6th of June.  The oldest son, Absalon, had preceded his parents here by about a year or so.  The first year in their adopted country they resided with J. R. Ramlo and the following three years were spent on a farm near the place that latter became the family's farm home until 1914 when they moved to Hendricks, Minnesota.

Mrs. Singsaas passed away in February, 1915.  A daughter, Ingeborg, (Mrs. Martin Christianson) died the 3rd of April, 1926.  The children who mourn the loss of a father are Absalon of Buette, Montana; Gulaug, of Montana; Ingebregt, of Bonetrail, N.D.; Mons, of Hendricks; Iver, of Hendricks; Inga, Mrs. Peter J. Ramlo), of Hendricks, besides 36 grandchildren and seven great grand children.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon.  A short service was held at the home at two o'clock and at two-fifteen at the Lake Hendricks Lutheran Free church with Rev. Edw. L. Erickson conducting the last rights.  Songs were sung by a quartette composed of Pete Hinsverk, Ingvald Hanson, Hans Hegstad, and Lewis Pederson.  Several gifts were given to the Orphans' Home and the Missions in his memory.  Interment was made in the East cemetery, the pallbearers being Mons Singsaas, Iver Singsaas, Peter J. Ramlo, I. O. Ramlo, Peter Hanson, and Martin Christianson.

Mr. Singsaas had been in ill health for the past several years.

Deepest sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives in their hour of sorrow.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Follow Friday - Be Not Forgot-Quotes and GeneaBlog

Here are a couple Genealogy Blogs I'm following:
A blog about genealogy blogging, for the genalogy bloggers, by the genealogy bloggers.  Geez, I wonder how many times I can put genealogy and blog in one sentence!  This site should provide me with lots of good prompts to encourage my blogging habit.
I love genealogy and I love quotes.  So this neat little blog is one that I'm sure I'll spend too much time reading.  The writer has devoted an entire blog to quotes pertaining to family and genealogy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surnames in My Genealogy

You may have noticed, I recently added a link to the top of my blog labeled "Surnames in my Genealogy".  On that page, you'll find a list of ALL the last names found in my family tree.

I tried to make a neat little tag cloud with the names, so that names that appeared more frequently were larger than those that only appeared once or twice. Ideally, it would look something like the Tags box on the right of this page.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a tool that would import my text file and output a text or HTML tag cloud.  I attempted to manually create a tag cloud and spent a couple hours on it.  Then I copied it to a page in my blog and all the names came out the same size.  Bummer!  

I'm still hoping to find a snazzy little tool to tackle my desired name cloud, but for now this will suffice.

Wacky Wednesday: Grave Humor

Here's a wacky book that I came across as I was reading another genealogy blog. Sorry, I've browsed several blogs lately, I'm not sure which blog led to this book.

We all like a good play on words once in a while, so how about a play on names?  This new book, Grave Humor, depicts loads of interesting word/name pairings found in cemeteries. 

Some samples can be found on the book's website:

... On second thought, maybe you want to pre-order your headstone and pre-arrange your plot so you and your final neighbors names don't end up in a future edition of Grave Humor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure: Children of Albert and Amy Laabs

Today's treasure is a photo sent by cousin Shari Adair.  The children in this photo are the three oldest children of my Great-Great Grandparents Albert and Amberzine "Amy" Laabs.

This picture was likely taken in 1917.   Kenneth would have been about 7 years old, Hazel about 5, and Agnes would have been about 1 year.  Albert and Amy's fourth child, Frank, was born in July 1918.  Two more children, Myra and Fred, were born to Albert and Amy in 1921 and 1928.

Thank you, Shari, for sharing your collection of Laabs photos!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome to the world little Isabella Weinkauf!

Congratulations to my cousin Erin, her husband Justin and the new big sister Natalie on the arrival of Isabella Patricia Weinkauf!  She was born this morning at 7:57 AM. She weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces and was 16 inches long.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday's Obituary: Minnie Workman

Following one of the daily blogging prompts from the Geneabloggers ( ...

This obituary was originally published in the Brookings Register in April 1944 and a copy is currently located in my Great-Grandma Leola's research files.

Mrs. M. Workman Passed Away at Home on Thursday
Was Resident of County for Sixty-Six Years; Services Held Monday Afternoon

Mrs. Minne Workman, 90, passed away at her home in  Sterling township on Thursday, April 13, following a brief but critical illness.  Funeral services were held on Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Sterling Methodist church with Rev. Edward W. Stodghill officiating.

Pallbears were Ed Clifford, Frank Person, Tom Kerr, Clarence Schmidt, Fred Rittman and Walter Steinkamp.  Special services were held at the home at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Interment was in the Sterling Methodist cemetery.

Mrs. Minnie Workman, whose maiden name was Minnie Koester, was born on October 5, 1853, in Jackson, Ind.  When a child of 10 years, she came with her parents to farm near Northfield, Minn., where she grew to womanhood.  On March 2, 1874, she married George Workman who preceded her in death in 1901.  She and Mr. Workman lived in Iowa for four years following their marriage.  They then moved to Sterling township where Mrs. Workman has resided for 66 years.

She was always active in community affairs and was a member of the Methodist church, with which she became affiliated while in Northfield, Minn., and also a members of the Women's Society of Christian Service.  She was one of the charter members of the Sterling Methodist church which was originally in the German conference.

Surviving are two sons, Jesse Workman and County Commissioner Lowell Workman of Brookings and Sterling respectively; two sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Farrankop, Oxboro, Minn., and Miss Sarah Koester, Altadena, Calif'., eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.  Three brothers and three sissters preceded her in death.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Stumble-Upon: It's a Small World After All

Since I started this blog back in July, I have heard from some cousins again and have also been in communication with a few new cousins.

Shari (Searls) Adair, a cousin in the Glenn family line who I've been in contact with for several years now, was surprised to learn that she knew two other sides of my family!  She was in school and 4H with my grandma Sharon (Jorenby) Luze. When the families lived in the Lake Campbell area, the Searls farm and the Jorenby farm were adjacent to each other. Shari's family had also lived near Lowell Workman in Eureka township.

Now with the realization that the cousins from the east (Glenns from Aurora) knew the cousins from the southwest (Jorenbys from the Lake Campbell area) and the cousins from the north (Workmans in Eureka township), I began to wonder how far apart these families really were.  So I pulled up Google Maps and started mapping the childhood homes of my great-grandparents.  Here's the result:

Not bad!  Brookings is almost the center point of all of their childhood homes.  I'm willing to bet that at some point or another, the families all crossed paths in Brookings.  Moral of the story: It's a small world after all!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lessons learned - Back Up Your Data

Once again I've learned a lesson the hard way!  I work with computers all day long and often remind people to back up their data and documents.  But who takes their own advice?  Apprarently, not me!

Last week I was struggling with my computer, so I decided it was time to wipe it clean and start with a fresh image.  I had previously saved most of my data to an external hard drive (like the Western Digital Passport below).  Unfortunately, I hadn't ever saved or backed up my Outlook email profile.  But most of my email is just meeting or event information for Girl Scouts, notices that bank statements are available and fun forwards from family and friends. ... Nothing of great urgency, right?

Then I realized ...

I've switched emails for genealogy at least twice and had downloaded LOTS of email from those old email addresses to that Outlook profile!  UGH!  A couple years of research and documents shared by family members -GONE!

My plan was to go through those emails over the next few months, glean the data and post the data to my Penny's Genealogy Pages site.  I guess my plan backfired.

So if you've sent me any really cool family information and don't see any mention of it on my web site ... could you send it again, please?

In the meantime, I'm setting up regular backups for my computer on my Western Digital Passport. With over 450 GB of space remaining, I have NO excuses!!

Lesson learned: Back up your data!

Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive WDBAAA5000ABK-NESN (Midnight Black)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy 90th Birthday to Anna Taylor!

Happy 90th Birthday to Anna Taylor earlier this month.  She celebrated her "youth" this past Sunday with a host of family and friends in Estelline.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure - John & Ida Waage

This weekend the descendents of John and Ida Waage will gather for their 48th annual Waage family reunion.

To the left is an early picture of John and Ida Waage.  Below is a picture of their children in 1959.  Left to right: Leroy, Erwin, Iva, Joseph, Viola, Hartwick, Stella, Thomas, and Mamie.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday's Stumble Upon - Photographer Links

In the collection of Workman-Crapser photos from Grandma Leola, there are several pictures that have photographers' marks.   In theory these marks should help us discover from which time frame the picture might be.  Unfortunately, this assumes you know when each photographer was in business.  I hadn't found a great reference for that information until this past week when I stumbled upon two references:
Another neat find this week relates to the Sterling Methodist Church, from which the Workman family line has many connections.  It seems as though the work of one former pastor, Rev. Bonney, is posted on the USGenWebsArchive.  Rev. Bonney's work:
In the list of marriages by Rev Bonney, it mentions that he "assisted Homer Schautz - a camera exploded".  Interestingly enough, we have a photo in our Workman-Crapser collection with the initials "H.W.S."  I wonder if this photo of a young boy and two dogs was taken by Homer Schautz.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Stumble-upon

The last few weeks I have stumbled upon some new information.

Early in July I went out to cousin Vida's and scanned a bunch of Workman family pictures.  There are still many more photos and bits of information to scan and collect out at Vida's farm.

Then, another Workman cousin, Claire, stumbled upon my website, Penny's Genealogy Pages. Claire in turn sent me copies of several articles on a major explosion at a Edward Workman house in Watertown, New York in 1922.  The explosion, which killed 8 children and caused damaged for two blocks in every direction, was caused by unexploded artillery shell.  Claire also sent a letter that was written by Philip Workman to his sister Barbara (Workman) Schrode.   I'll be returning the favor and sending Claire some information.

Today, while catching up on some genealogy blogs, I learned of a neat show on the History Channel called "How the States Got Their Shapes" based on a book by Mark Stein.  The description of the show intrigued me.  Unfortunately, it didn't look like the show was going to be re-shown on the History Channel any time soon. Then I discovered the show in pieces on YouTube.  I watched all the pieces and learned (maybe re-discovered is a better term) that our state borders were etched out based on natural resources, transportation/commerce, technology, and equality.    Here's the first piece of How the States Got Their Shapes.

Thank you, Claire, Vida and the genealogy blogs, for my recent stumble-upons!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stumbling over the Crapser Brick Wall

My family, like many others, contains a brick wall - a point at which all record sources provide no further information or only provide inconclusive evidence.   My brick wall is my great-great-great-grandfather, Timothy Crapser, who according to all reasonable record sources has no parents.

I have heard we are descended from the one and only Crapser who came to America, a mister Johannes Krapsen von Rotenflau. But after searching, I still find no definitive record of Timothy's parents to tie us to Johannes. So here I sit, trying to find the connection between what I've been told and what the records say.  I've documented everything I know about Timothy on my Brick Walls page.

I know that Timothy and his wife Louisa J. Lane had three children: two daughters Rosa Eveline and Lizzie Jane and a son Melbourn Washington Crapser (possibly also be known as Melvin). The girls died fairly young; Rosa at 8 years and Lizzie at 21 years. Melbourn married at least three times and had 15 children between 1877 and 1915.

My records also indcate that Timothy was born on May 27th, 1825 in New York and died on July 23rd, 1898 in Boone County, Illinois.  With the birthdate being the date listed on his headstone.  The 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Catskill, Greene County, New York lists a Timothy Crapser aged 25 living with Charles and Catherine Crapser.  

However, looking for "Charles and Catherine Crapser" is right up the same alley as looking for "John Smith".  Every time I run into documentation for a Charles Crapser, I find a spouse by the name of Catherine/Catharine/Katrina.  

I'm inclined to believe that we may be descended from Charles Crapser and Catharine Helander.  Another genealogist has listed Charles Crapser and Catharine Helander as parents to a Timothy Crapser born about 1826.  Additionally, there seem to be very few Crapsers that came towards the Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota area; though many stopped in Michigan.  One of those that came farther west to Iowa is William Harris Crapser, son of Charles and Catharine (Helander) Crapser.

Time to connect with potential cousins ... we'll see what the connection brings. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Well, it seems I was a post short last week and it seems I've struggled to get a Thursday's Theory post up.  Forgive me.  I'll try to make it up this week.

In the meantime, here's a neat little quote about family from Erma Bombeck:
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Tuesday's Treasure: Ingeborg Singsaas is Confirmed

One hundred and seven years ago yesterday, a young lady by the name of Ingeborg Singsaas was confirmed by Rev T.K. Solensten. Today's photo was taken on Ingeborg's confirmation day, July 19, 1903.  Ingeborg is my great-great grandmother.

Ingeborg T. Singsaas was born on November 5th, 1887 in Sondre Trondhjem, Norway to Thore and Kari (Ingebritsdatter) Singsaas.  She was the ninth of ten children.  The family came to America on June 5th, 1890.

Ingeborg married Martin B. Christianson two years later on November 28, 1905.  Rev Solensten officiated the wedding ceremony as well.  Ingeborg and Martin had 8 children.

At the age of 38 years, four months, and 28 days, Ingeborg passed away due to heart failure after having been sick with influenza. 

Rev Solensten at the time was reportely from the Toronto, SD area.  The Singsaas family lived in the Hendricks, MN and Lake Hendricks, SD area around the time of Ingeborg's confirmation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Treasured Photo of Leola

This Thursday would have been my Great-Grandma Leola (Workman) Crapser's 101st birthday. In honor of this milestone, this week's treasure is a photo of Leola in her younger days.

Here is Leola riding one of the family horses.  On the left is Leola's brother Leslie.  This photo was taken around 1915.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Grandma Glenn boosts 104 Grandchildren

Cousin Neta contacted me this week.  Of course this lead me into the Dempster family files, where I re-discovered this neat little article.  On May 29, 1949 The Brookings Register reported that Grandma Glenn had 104 Grand and Great Grand Children! 

I don't know about you, but I can't imagine keeping track of that many cousins!

The full article written by Ed Stanley reads:
"If the people of the little town of Aurora were asked to name the All-Ameican mother of the United States, they would vote unanimously for Mrs. Frank T. Glenn.

For she can boost of what folks around here believe is some sort of record. She has reared 10 children of her own and now can name 60 great grandchildren and 40 more grand children.

And at the age of 82 she can rattle off the names of them all-given a little time. This makes a total of 104 direct descendants and all are living.

Despite her four-score and more years this little old lady still is fairly agile. Her clear blue eyes are sharp and they carry an Irish twinkle when she talks. She was born in Ireland -- up in Ulster -- March 1, 1867, and came to this country August 3, 1883.

On January 11, 1886, (she remembers all of these dates just like they were yesterday) she married Frank Glenn. They lived around Aurora from that time until his death in 1930.

Asked her recipe for rearing such a family with all of the great and grand children, her reply was strickly of an Irish nature.

"Just keep on reading the Scriptures every day," she snapped back quickly. "You won't go far wrong, if you practice what the Bible teaches. And keep out of other people's business. Don't gossip about others. If you work hard you won't have time to do that. And then you won't worry and you can live a long time. Simple, isn't it?"

Her children are Mrs. Georgia Johnson and William of Aurora; Mrs. May Morris, Lake Hendricks; Mrs. Violet Bain, Bushnell; Mrs. Daisy Bain, Wadena, Minn; Mrs. Gladys Blanch, Indianola, Iowa; Mrs. Amy Laabs, Volga; Walter of Aurora, and Mrs. Myra Eer Nisse, Rapid City, S. Dak.

A son, Frank, who was a corporal in the air corps during World War I, died after the war. But Mrs. Glenn calls his wife, Lois Bacon (she remarried and her second husband died) her own child. Lois is in the service and never forgets Mother Glenn on Mother's day.

Mrs. Glenn now lives in a modest home in Aurora where she likes to knit and visit her many "children" who delight to drop in on her for a happy hour or two in conversation about "these good days.""

The article inadvertantly left out one daughter, Margaret. I assume this was the reporter's error, not an lapse in Grandma Glenn's memory.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure: George L. and Minnie Workman and sons

Here is a picture of George Lewis Workman, his wife Minnie (Koester) and their two sons Jesse (back) and Lowell (front). 

Jesse was born in December of 1878 in Northfield, MN. Lowell was born in February of 1881, also in Northfield.

I presume this picture was taken in the late 1880s to early 1890s, as Lowell doesn't look more than 10 years of age.

Cousin Vida Reed shared this photo last week when our cousin Janice was in town.  Thanks, Vida.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day to the USA!! In honor of our independence, I'd like to remember our Revolutionary War veterans.

Our Crapser family line is descended from at least one Revolutionary War veteran, Joseph C. Lane. Joseph (1757-1839) served as a Private in a few Dutchess County (New York) Militia regiments. He served with the following regiments:
  • Second Regiment, under the command of Col. Abraham Brinkerhoff and Capt. Johannes Schutt. This unit was also known as "Brinkerhoff's Regiment".
  • Sixth Regiment, under Col. Samuel Drake and Capt. John Drake.
  • Associated Attempts, under the command of Col. Zephaniah Platt and Capt. Thomas Lee.

You can find Joseph C. Lane's pension records on, which has the Revolutionary War records collection free this month.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Neat little tool for photo collections

Today while chatting with a co-worker about the collection of photos from my Great-Grandma Leola, I learned that Google's photo album tool used facial recognition to help users identify the people in the pictures.

So I thought I'd give Picasa a little test. I uploaded the photos from my great grandma's collection. For some of these photos I have identified the people, but for others we're still guessing. I was hoping that this little tool might help with our guessing game.

After uploading the photos I began tagging the photos using the "Name Tag" feature. Several photos in, Picasa began giving suggestions. Some suggestions were right on target. Then there were a few photos where Picasa suggested the individual could be my great-great aunt, a cousin, or my grandpa ... hmmm, do they really look that much alike? Take a look and let me know what you think ...

Picasa has suggested the boy on the left in this picture is Sara, Dennis or Don. Here are pictures of Sara, Dennis and Don. This particular boy is actually Larry. Sara is Larry's aunt, Dennis is his nephew and Don is his brother.

Now keep in mind that these photos are at least 30 years old and were all scanned images, so the incorrect suggestions could be caused by the lack of clarity in the images.

My conclusion, I'm not sold on Picasa yet, but it looks promising. Maybe after several more pictures, Picasa will have some better suggestions.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the first Tuesday's Treasure

Today, in honor of my grandpa Don's cousin Janice and her husband Chuck visiting, I thought I'd share a photo of Janice's parents.

This is my great-great aunt Sara Workman and husband Raymond Laganella on their wedding day in November 1943.

Sara was the youngest of six children born to Jesse J. and Blanche D. (Heard) Workman. She was born in October 1920 in Brookings, SD and passed away in September 2002 in Philadelphia, PA. Sara and Ray had two children: Raymond Jr and Janice.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Beginning ... FINALLY!

I've been considering writing a blog for over a year now, but haven't found the words to get me started. Yesterday, I stumbled upon a site that posted specific types of material on specific days of the week. I thought it was a neat idea and might just help me get started. So to get my blogging rolling along, I’ll be sharing Tuesday’s Treasure, Thursday’s Theory, and Saturday’s Stumble-upon.

Tuesday's Treasure posts will highlight some neat pieces of my family history. This will help shed some light on the boxes and albums loaded with photos. I also have amassed a collection of documents and articles that tell our stories. I hope you find treasure in these pieces of history.

Thursday's Theory posts will help shed light on answers I’m seeking. I have a handful of elusive ancestors that I’m bound and determined to locate. So I’ll post my theories of their stories and then go digging for the answers. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my theories too!!

Saturday's Stumble-upon posts will share my new-found insights on my family. I’ll keep you posted on all my findings.

Now this isn’t to say that I’ll post three times a week, but I do plan to post at least twice a week.