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!