Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We interrupt our regular schedule...

Well, today is the day I've been dreading and looking forward to, both at the same time. I know that after today I will begin to feel much better! I have to be at the hospital in less than an hour, surgery is scheduled for 8 a.m. The surgery is a "routine" procedure but all kinds of thoughts have been racing through my head. What if, what if... though I try not to dwell too long on those things.

Since I won't have internet access, it will probably be a week or ten days before I am able to post anything at all and even longer before regular posting resumes. In the meantime, check out the archives or some of the other bloggers listed on the sidebar.

My friend Charlotte Blair is a co-author of my Whitley County Kinexxions blog. I've asked her to post an update to my status later today or tomorrow.

I'll be back.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: Malcomson Family

The topic for the premier edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is "exceptional finds - share with us those rare and unique cemeteries, gravestones, monuments, memorials, inscriptions, etc."

This post is going to do "double duty" by being my "Tombstone Tuesday" post this week as well as my contribution to the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival.

McKay Cemetery in Craig Township, Switzerland County, Indiana is located on Patton Hollow Road approximately one mile North of State Road 56. It is the resting ground for several of my Wiseman and Bray ancestors. While taking pictures there last November, I also took some pictures of some of the more "interesting" stones. As far as I know, the Malcomson family is no relation to me. The monument stands about six feet high and I think it is made of poured concrete. As always, click on the images for a larger version.

Engraving on the South side of the monument:
JOHN S. / DEC. 29, 1842-APR. 24, 1914
EMILY J. HIS WIFE / MAY 10, 1842-JUNE 11, 1919

Engraving on the North side of monument:
(across the top of the scroll) MARY E.
DAUGHTER OF / J.S. & E.J. MALCOMSON /MAR. 28, 1878-SEPT. 3, 1897
DELLA B. SMITH / JAN. 3, 1868-JULY 9, 1902

Seven year old John Malcomson was found in the 1850 census in the household of William and Jennet Malcomson in Craig Township, Switzerland County, Indiana. In 1860 he was 17 years old and listed in the household of Jennet Malcomson. John was 28 years old in 1870 , the head of his household, with real estate valued at $2400 and a personal estate of $2600. Also listed with him in Craig Township was 28 year old Emily, 4 year old Pearly and 2 year old Della.

John and Emily Malcomson were also living in Craig Township in 1880, 1900, and 1910. John's occupation was listed as farmer, and, their children, according to these census records, were Pearlie, Della, William J., Justi T., Mary, Frank B., and Edna G.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wiseman Siblings

The three oldest children of Charles and Elsie (Shuder) Wiseman: Perry Martin Comfort Wiseman (1906-1968), Leslie Wilson "Dick" Wiseman (1910-1978), and Eva Leah Wiseman (1908-1967).

The youngest of their eight children was my father, born in 1924.

Contributed to the 11th Edition of Smile For The Camera :: brothers & sisters.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who is Number 21?

This week, Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun "task" is to write about ancestor #21 as listed on your Ahnentafel report. Why #21? Because it was February 21st when Randy published his post!

#21 is the mother of #10, who is the father of #5, who is the mother of #2, thus:
#2 Jack William Wiseman, my father
#5 Elsie Shuder, my grandmother
#10 Isaac Shuder, my great grandfather
#21 Sarah Nancy Huntsicker, my great-great grandmother
Sarah Nancy Huntsicker was born February 2, 1817 and died June 14, 1882. She is buried with her husband in Syracuse Cemetery, Kosciusko County, Indiana. According to the 1850, 1860 & 1870 census records, Sarah was born in Pennsylvania. In 1880 her place of birth is listed as Ohio. Names of her parents are not known at this time.

On December 22, 1842 Sarah Huntsticker was married to Christian Schuder in Montgomery County, Ohio (Volume A2, Page 270) by John Burnett. Christian's older brother, Peter Schuder (1799-1867), was married to Rebecca Barbara Huntsicker (1807-1865). Christian and Peter were the sons of Christian Sr. and Anna Eva Christina (Stoever) Schuder.

Federal census records show that in 1850 (p377) and 1860 (p11) Christian and Sarah Schuder were living in Jefferson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. By 1870 the family had moved to Elkhart County, Indiana and were found residing in Jackson Township (p380). In 1880, the family was found in Van Buren Township in neighboring Kosciusko County, Indiana (p14b).

Sarah's occupation would have been that of a mother and wife. Christian was listed as a farmer, farm laborer, and laborer in the federal census records. Details of their life together are not known, but Christian and Sarah Nancy (Huntsicker) Schuder were the parents of six children.
  1. Clinton Newell Schuder (1843-1858)
  2. Isaac Schuder/Shuder (1846-1905) - Isaac and his family dropped the "c" and used the spelling of "Shuder" for their surname. Isaac married Nancy Jane Lavering. They had nine children, one of whom was Elsie Shuder, my grandmother.
  3. Louisa Dora Schuder (1849-1922) - Louisa never married.
  4. Sarah Ann Schuder (1851-1853)
  5. Diana "Anna" Schuder (1854-1902) - Diana married Solomon Coy; they had no children.
  6. Malen Schuder (1856-1920) - Malen married Alice Clem. They had three children; Floyd, Ethel, and Dora. Ethel and Dora did not have any children; Floyd had one son, Evard Schuder. I don't know whether or not Evard had any children.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger Award...

The Kreativ Blogger Award has been bestowed upon me by Julie Cahill Tarr at GenBlog by Julie, Harriet at Genealogy Fun, JoLyn at Uphill Both Ways, and Taylorstales at Taylorstales-Genealogy.

Thank you all very much.

And, of course, there are "rules" associated with the award:

  1. Copy the award to your site.
  2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
  3. Nominate 5 other bloggers.
  4. Link to those sites on your blog.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.
The bloggers that I've selected are some of those that inspired me to start blogging two years ago, thanks guys (and gals)!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The 2008 iGene Awards for Kinexxions

The Academy of Genealogy and Family History, aka AGFH, was created last year by Jasia as a means for us to be able to spotlight and honor our "best" posts of the year. And it is that time of the year, again! It was really difficult to select just one post (okay, maybe two) in each category. So, without further ado, here are the posts that have been selected as "The Best of the Best!" here at kinexxions in 2008…

Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2008.

It is truly a blessing to possess so many wonderful family photographs, but I really couldn't pick just one of them, so you get a trio of charming images from the past with Little Billy, the Gentleman Farmer, and The Hover Children :: All Dressed Up.

Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2008 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?

A distant relative, Robert Quillen was truly An Independent Spirit. Well known during his lifetime, his name and deeds have nearly been forgotten, even in his adopted hometown. Richard Gere would be perfect playing the part of Robert. Good-looking, charming, a bit adventurous and daring, but a down-to-earth sort of fella.

Best Documentary - Best informational article you wrote in 2008 about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history?

The Case of the $12 Box Coat, in which an 1844 court case may provide clues to family relationships, was interesting to review and dissect, but I have to admit, locating the home of my 3rd great grandfather in Huntington County was far more exciting!

Best Biography - Best biographical article you wrote in 2008?

This would be the two-part post on my great grandparents, Maude Wise Brubaker Yontz and Charles Romain Brubaker. Star-crossed lovers, perhaps, who got off to a rocky start, fumbled their way through the first 20 years of marriage, to finally separate and go on to live their own separate lives.

Best Comedy - Best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2008?

It's not anything I did or wrote, but I can't help but laugh every time I see these Two Stylish Ladies in their swimsuits. My grandmother and her sister Jane having a fun time at the lake. It brought back some nice memories of times spent at Goose Lake when I was (much) younger.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Being Sick Just Plain Sucks...

And I don't like it!! Since last Sunday (February 1st) I've been experiencing varying degrees of abdominal pain (from just annoying to downright awful) as well as fever, chills and other non-fun things. It's been amazing to me how many hours of the day one can consume with sleeping!

I finally got in to see the doctor Friday afternoon and went in for a CT Scan that evening. They have ruled out appendicitis and diverticulitis, which is good, but that means they still don't know what is causing the problem. I'll be scheduled for an ultrasound on Monday so hopefully will know more then.

The doctor prescribed pain medication to "get me through the weekend" but it makes me sick. So I'll have to decide which is worse, the pain or the nausea and vomiting. Yuck. I'm going to try taking half of a pill and see what happens.

Obviously, I haven't been keeping up with my blog reading and the number of unread posts continues to grow with each day. Something to look forward to, eh? Sitting at my computer desk makes the pain worse, even with the medication, and about ten minutes at a time is the most I can stand it.

Regular posting will resume in the (hopefully not too distant) future. In the meantime, feel free to explore the archives here at kinexxions (at the bottom of the right sidebar) or visit some of the other fine blogs listed in the right sidebar.

*** Update 10:00 a.m. Thursday, February 12, 2009 ***
Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes. They are truly appreciated. The ultrasound that I had on Monday afternoon showed that I have a "rather large" fibroid tumor that is causing the pain as well as some pressure on other organs. Yesterday morning I met with another doctor and he scheduled surgery for Wednesday morning, February 25th. The abdominal pain subsides but never completely goes away and it is sometimes pretty intense. The pain medication is no longer making me sick, thank goodness, so it does help. Some days are better than others. Sitting upright at my desk still becomes very painful after about 10 minutes. Though I do hope to be able to post occasionally between now and the 25th, normal posting here at kinexxions won't resume for a while.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Come Dance With Me...

Welcome to the February 4th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy! Our topic this time around is "The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy." Perhaps stating the obvious, but, genealogy can become a passion even before you experience that first "happy dance" but once you've actually felt the excitement and joy of that first dance, be it a rousing rumba or a restrained, elegant waltz, you're addicted.

For those of us living in the Northern hemisphere, Ole Mister Groundhog has declared that there will be six more weeks of winter ahead of us, so what better activity is there than to grab a cup of hot chocolate (or some other warming beverage) and spend some time enjoying the moments of joy shared by our 50 contributors? For those in warmer climates, pour yourself a cool drink and enjoy!

To all of the new participants, on behalf of Jasia, I say welcome to the Carnival, and to everyone, thank you for sharing your happy dance moments with us!

Starting us off is Dorene Paul, who presents Charles Cross, First Catholic Mayor of Sandusky posted at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay. Dorene says "My heart skipped a beat when I ran across the article 'An English Colony' in the December 3, 1889 Sandusky Daily Register. The author of the article, Mr. Hudson C. Ward, tells how my great-great-great-great grandfather, Charles Cross, came to the United States from England aboard the packet ship the "Hudson" in July of 1830. Mr. Ward was named after the ship."

Terri at The Ties That Bind presents Longing to know you......... which is the first of three parts. The story continues with Longing to know you continued.... and Longing to know you - part 3. Terri says, "Please read all parts for the full story."

Cathy Palm presents Happy Dance Moment or Finding Laura Backus posted at Detour Through History saying "The Rootsweb message that broke down a brick wall. Reliving the moment..."

Donna Hague Wendt presents Hague Happy Dance posted at Another Day With Donna ..... Genealogy - Family History Blog. Donna says "When a family surname can be spelled in a variety of ways, it is a wonderful and "happy dance" moment to stumble on the one way it was spelled in a census to finally find the elusive family. This happened for the 1850 US Census with my elusive Hague ancestors in Rhode Island, under "Ache." To happily continue dancing, a cousin showed me a drawing of the original Hague homestead in Iowa as it looked in 1905."

Sharon Klein presents The Genealogy Shuffle posted at Genealogy. She says "Over the past 10 years or so since I first started my research, I'm had several occasions to kick up my feet!"

Valerie C. presents The First Happy Dance posted at Begin with 'Craft'. Valerie got started in genealogy during a college geography project. She and her mother didn't know much about the family and knew even less about genealogy!

Margaret Ann presents Carnival- Genealogy Happy Dance posted at GeneaDiva's History, Genealogy and "Stuff". Margaret Ann "remembers the many happy dances as a novice at shaking the family tree. She recalls the trips with her Dad and Grandparents seeking information which also led to the next happy dance."

GeneaDiva presents Carnival - Genealogy Happy Dance posted at GeneaDiva's History, Genealogy and Stuff saying, "Although, I've had many genealogy happy dances over the past 27 years some of my most memorable and favorite dances occurred at the beginning of my genealogy adventure."

Sheri Fenley presents The Problem With Pauline - Part 9 - Some Fun With Dr. George B. Sanford posted at The Educated Genealogist. Sheri says "The mailman and I do not quite see eye to eye."

Donna M Moughty presents More Genealogy Puzzles from Ireland posted at Donna's Genealogy Blog. "Solving the problem of which Michael Daly was mine was a genealogy puzzle I wasn't sure I would ever solve. A lecture at a conference on searching common surnames along with a study of all Daly's in a specific location led to the Happy Dance and an early morning phone call from Salt Lake City to Connecticut to tell my mother-in-law how all those cousins were related."

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault presents Tripping the light fantastic posted at A Canadian Family and is "Tripping the light fantastic” – remembering Montreal during the ‘50s swing era”

Jessica Oswalt presents Doing the Happy Dance: Finding Answers posted at Jessica's Genejournal stating it is "A brief mention of a few successes I have had in my five plus years of researching my family."

Lisa presents Growing the family tree: In both directions posted at Small-leaved Shamrock. She says "I started to tell the story of a "happy dance" I did quietly with a sleeping angel on my lap, and went on to share how genealogy fits into the life of my family. I hope you enjoy this look at doing genealogy with children along: the only way I can imagine it."

Brian Zalewski presents Carnival of Genealogy: Happy Dance posted at Zalewski Family Genealogy. Brian claims to have had "a few" happy dance moments and says "If my thought process works, you probably get more of them as you first start your genealogy research. But, they get much more exciting as your research goes on."

Janet Iles presents The Genealogy Happy Dance - New discoveries posted at Janet the researcher. She says "I might not get up and dance but you will hear restrained words of excitement."

Apple presents Dancing Fool posted at Apple's Tree. Apple admits "It doesn't take much to get me to do the Happy Dance. Give me a new little scrap of information and I'm on my feet!"

Greta Koehl presents The Happy Dance: Getting Hooked on Genealogy, Part 3 posted at Greta's Genealogy Bog. She says "Finally doing the Happy Dance was the last stage in getting me totally addicted to genealogy. What did it take to get me to do the Happy Dance? It was finding an ancestor who had touched me through the fact that no one even knew his first name any more."

Geniaus presents The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy posted at Geniaus. From the land down under, Geniaus declares "Until I completed the 99+ things genealogy meme I didn't know that I had been dancing for years."

Tex presents The Happy Dance: Finding Females posted at All My Ancestors. Serendipity (chance, fate, luck, coincidence, etc.) enables Tex to find several long sought female ancestors.

Cherie presents My Genealogy Happy Dance! posted at Still Digging for Roots. Cherie gives us "Three 'Happy Dance' moments!"

Jasia presents The First Find posted at Creative Gene. Jasia says "My 'first find' resulted in my first happy dance. Like a first kiss, or the first flowers received from a lover, my first happy dance was the sweetest. Here are my memories of that very first dance..."

A. Spence presents Family Profile: William Lowry/Lowery/Laury/Lowrey posted at Spence-Lowry Family History saying "My first happy dance was when I could connect a family story about my 2nd great grandfather and a possible sibling of his."

Donna Pointkouski presents The Joy of Genealogy posted at What's Past is Prologue. Donna admits that she has "done many genealogical happy dances over the years - here are a few of my favorites (plus a photo of my favorite happy dancing Gene)."

Melody Lassalle presents My Very First Genealogy Happy Dance posted at The Research Journal. She says "This post is about my first research experience and the moment I knew I was addicted."

Hilary Gadsby presents Best Genealogy Find posted at Genemeet. Hilary says "Over the years I have been researching my family tree like most people I have made several great finds and every time you find that elusive piece of information you get that urge to shout out Yes!!"

Amanda Erickson presents The Happy Dance posted at Random Ramblings saying "My search for information about my dad's (Stiver) side of the family and how I hit the jackpot. "

Colleen Johnson presents The Happy Dance of Genealogy posted at CMJ Office. Colleen says "A little jig, a happy dance, a possible party and some heartburn. Pass the genealogy tums. "

Wendy Littrell presents Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! posted at All My Branches Genealogy. She says "It doesn't take much for me to stand up and shout for joy when I find something that I think will lead me to more information! It could be a Census entry, a letter, or an email from a distant cousin that has me saying "Oh Yeah!"

Julie Cahill Tarr presents Get Up & Dance posted at GenBlog. Julie takes us on a tour of previously posted genealogy joys.

Craig Manson presents Happy Dance Days Are Here Again! posted at GeneaBlogie saying "In which I do the Happy Dance having found things I thought were lost to time!"

Randy Seaver presents Genealogy Happy Dances and/or Genea-gasms! posted at Genea-Musings. Saying "Randy didn't follow the rules and pick one genea-gasm, he picked four. Read about his England trip, his Norway trip, his treasures in the closet, and treasures from his Aunt Geraldine."

John Newmark presents The Happy Dance posted at TransylvanianDutch. John says, "I can think of three times in my research where my excitement reached a point which may be compared to a "happy dance"..."

Stephen J. Danko presents Doing the DNA Happy Dance! posted at Steve's Genealogy Blog. Steve has discovered two previously unknown distant cousins who match his DNA sequence.

Bill West presents West in New England: DOING THE GENEALOGY HAPPY DANCE posted at West in New England. Bill says "I've had some great Happy Dance moments, but if I ever break down the John Cutter West brickwall, there's going be one HUMUNGOUS Happy Dance!"

Elyse Doerflinger presents Carnival Of Genealogy - 65th Edition: My Happy Dance posted at Elyse's Genealogy Blog saying "This story describes my latest Happy Dance, which occurred only last Thursday after finding a new Keppler cousin."

Elizabeth Powell Crowe presents Success Story posted at Crowe's Nest by Elizabeth Powell Crowe. Elizabeth links to an article about "Two guys in Indiana who giggle their way up the family tree."

Terry Snyder presents Looking for Catherine posted at Desktop Genealogist Unplugged saying "A knowledgeable friend, a court case and a $50 debt, led to Terry Snyder’s happy dance that she details in her post, “Looking for Catherine."

Rachel Murphy presents Finding that Missing Ancestor through the House and Field Books posted at Irish Family History saying "Rachel explains how she found her great-great-great grandfather through the house and field books..."

Jennifer Trahan presents Genealogy Happy Dance: Findng the parents of John Pemberton posted at Jennifer's Genealogy Blog. Jennifer says this post is about "The long but fulfilling search for my 4th-great-grandparents."

Amanda presents The Happy Dance! The Joy of Genealogy posted at A Tale of Two Ancestors. She says "An interview interruption led to a record every genealogist hopes for."

Dru Pair presents The Genealogy Happy Dance posted at Find Your Folks. Dru writes about "doing the Genealogy Happy Dance after receiving a photo of a great-grandmother and also finding a written statement in a birth certificate book from her ancestor."

Andrea Christman presents The Happy Dance! Going Back One More Generation. posted at Family Tales. She says "My happy dance was when I was able to get my husband's line back to specific towns in Germany."

Charles Hansen presents Happy Dance posted at Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Blog. Charles does the research for EWGS and has had many “Happy Dances” for others he has helped over the years, but then he got a phone call from a gentleman in Springfield, Missouri…"

foonoteMaven presents You Really Do Know Her! posted at footnoteMaven. fM says this is "Not a 'Happy Dance' in the classic sense, but I've have never been more excited about genealogy than I was at this moment."

Kathy Brady-Blake presents The Genealogy Happy Dance posted at Kathy's Genealogy Blog. Kathy says "My happy dances happen when I reconnect with long lost cousins."

Barbara Holz Sullivan presents Serendipity posted at Chapter & Wurst saying "Serendipity: unexpected discoveries and a mother and daughter's questioning minds lead to new distant cousins and the genealogists' happy dance."

M. Diane Rogers presents My 1916 Happy Dance - The Joy of Genealogy - Carnival of Genealogy Edition 65 posted at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' saying "M. Diane Rogers practices her Happy Genealogist tap dancing only at home with the shades drawn, but once in a while she does find herself forgetting the 'Silence' code in a library or archives."

Thomas MacEntee presents It's Just A Jump To The Left . . . at Destination: Austin Family. Take A Step To The Right, Put Your Hands On Your Hips, Bring Your Knees In Tight… and… go see what it's all about.

Pam Taylor presents Happy Dance and the Joy of Genealogy posted at Taylorstales-Genealogy. What exactly was it that caused Pam to dance, shout, scream for joy, and act like a complete fool in front of her children?

And, rounding out this edition of the Carnival is my contribution, Happy Dance Moments :: Making Connections, which highlights just a few of the times I've made kinexxions with distant relatives and the results of those incredible experiences.

And now, it's time for a Call For Submissions! The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, to be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene, will be: iGene Awards, The Best of The Best! It's Academy awards time... time for the Academy of Genealogy and Family History, aka AGFH, to honor their best blog posts of 2008* in the following 5 categories:
  • Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2008. Tell us which you liked best and why.

  • Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2008 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?

  • Best Documentary - Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history in 2008?

  • Best Biography - Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2008?

  • Best Comedy - Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2008?
Please feel free to use this graphic on your post.

Start digging back into your archives and choose which of your blog posts deserve to be recognized for outstanding achievement. This is not a competition between bloggers but a chance for you to spotlight your own shining efforts at recording your genealogy and family history in 2008*.

There is no nomination process. You just need to announce your winning blog posts for the 5 categories mentioned above in an article on your blog and submit it to the Carnival of Genealogy. Please act as your own "award presenter" by writing an introduction and include it in the "Remarks" box on the BlogCarnival submission form.

The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2009.

*We're going to define "2008" to include any posts written in 2008 as well as those written Jan. 1-Feb. 15, 2009 as well (so that new bloggers can participate).

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Dance Moments :: Making Connections

When I selected the topic of "The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy." for this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I did so thinking it would be an easy topic for me to write about. But here it is, just a few hours before the deadline, and I'm still not sure what I'm going to write! The problem is that it really doesn't take much for me to do the "happy dance" and in 25+ years of research, I'm pleased to say, there have been quite a few of those joyous moments. Sure, there have been some disappointments too, but it's the moments of unadulterated joy that make it all worthwhile.

In the early years of research, after manually cranking through rolls of microfilm for hours on end, finding an ancestor in the census records was just cause for a mini-celebration. Most of the time the celebrations were quiet ones with my brain shouting out with joy, but not a peep escaping from my mouth. After all I was in a library. Occasionally though, I just couldn't help myself and the little squeal of delight would also bring smiles to the faces of other researchers who were also cranking the microfilm readers.

Okay, I see a "theme" developing in the random thoughts I just wrote down, so I've decided that the happy-dance moments I'm going to share will be some of those that involved making connections (kinexxions) with distant relatives and the results of those incredible experiences. These are just a few such moments.

In the spring of 1984, I began my quest to find the descendants of my 2nd great-grandparents Jacob and Louisa (Fisher) Phend by writing lots and lots of letters to anyone with the surname Phend. As replies came back, they led to more letter writing with those contacts leading to even more contacts and information. And photographs. And documents. Virtually every reply brought on a mini-celebration. But a major celebration in the journey to publish a book came about on August 18, 1985 when the first reunion since 1942 was held that included descendants from nearly all of the children of Jacob and Louisa.

I can't even begin to describe the feelings of joy that overwhelmed me that day. My grandfather, who was 92 years old at the time, met his first cousins Jacob Phend and Elizabeth Phend Young for the first time! Jacob was 65 years old at the time and Elizabeth was 63. It would be a few more years before I finished the book, which was published in July 1991, and there would be many more of those special moments during that time. The joy of finally getting the book published was tempered somewhat with disappointment in the final product that came from the printers (someday I might write about that!), but even with its printing problems, the book was a huge success, and it was all due to the wonderful responses received from previously unknown relatives.

One of my "most favorite" genea-happy-dance moments came in June 2000 when I was contacted by Beth who turned out to be my 5th cousin once removed. Our common ancestors are my 5th great-grandparents Lewis Sisley (1765-1826) and his wife Margaret Ellis (1773-1870). A distant relationship to be sure, but her mother, Marge, had the original pages from the Sisley Family Bible! But, to top that off, they lived on the southwest side of Indianapolis, just a three-hour drive away. Of course, my mother and I made the trip south and spent a very pleasant and exciting day with Marge and her family. You can read more about that visit, as well as view the bible pages, in this post that was published in September 2008 and submitted to the Show and Tell version of the Carnival of Genealogy.

A relatively recent happy dance moment came in May 2006 when I was contacted by Kathy Foster. She had found my website with pages on my 3rd great-grandparents, John and Susannah (Hoffman) Berlin. Kathy was a descendant of Susannah's sister Mary (Hoffman) Walker. At that time the only information I had on Susannah was that she had been born in Columbiana County, Ohio and could be the daughter of John and Catherine (Coy) Hoffman. That info had come from another researcher in 1999 but with no documentation. Other things took up my time and I never got around to doing anything with that info. Kathy had the estate settlement papers for John Hoffman that named all eleven of his children, including Susan Berlin! In addition, she had done extensive research on the family and was able to take me back another generation on both the Hoffman and Coy sides. So not only did I now have the names of Susan's parents, I had the proof to go along with it, and the names of both sets of her grandparents!

A second happy dance was done in August that year (2006) that also involved Kathy. I received an email from her that said she had just gotten an old photo album from one of her relatives which included pictures of Eli and Lovina (Berlin) Yarian, my 2nd great-grandparents! You see, Kathy's ancestor, Mary Hoffman was the second wife of Thomas Walker. Their son, James Madison Walker, was Kathy's ancestor. By his first marriage, Thomas Walker had several children, among whom was William Walker who had married Eli Yarian's sister, Susanna! Kathy and I aren't related at all through that connection, but the families obviously maintained a relationship even though her family was living in Stark County, Ohio and mine in Elkhart County, Indiana. In addition to the pictures of Eli and Lovina she sent pictures of Susanna Yarian and her husband William Walker. I had previously obtained several pictures of Lovina from the Nappanee Library but did not have any photos of Eli, so this was truly one of those amazing happy dance moments.

Eli Yarian, my 2nd great-grandfather.
Photo received from Kathy Foster in August 2006.