Wordless Wednesday - Happy Anniversary

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6-29-1975 2 6-29-2010 = 35!!

(Mike and Mary "Lyon" Hellman)

Tombstoneless Tuesday - Where is Anna?

Monday, June 28, 2010

photo taken by Linda Swanson, Gr Gr Grandaughter

This blog is dedicated to my gr gr Grandmother, Anna Davis.

According to the Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa, Anna Davis is buried alongside her husband with their son, George W Davis next to them. In the picture above George W Davis's tommbstone is on the left and Andrew S Davis's tombstone on the right. What happened to Anna's tombstone? I really wish I knew.

Anna was born in October of 1836 in Ohio. This was a second marriage for her. The first marriage was to Melvin J Needham who died from his wounds in Florida during the civil war. After my gr gr Grandfather Andrew S Davis mustered out at the end of the war he married Anna on November 6, 1866 at the home of B L Allen's and Anna Needhams home in Polk County, Iowa. She died on January 24, 1915 in Des Moines, Iowa.

I wish I knew about her.

Sentimental Sunday - Grandma's Coffee

Sunday, June 27, 2010

As a kid, when my family was home from the Mission Field (Indonesia, Japan, Singapore) on furlough, we would spend many summer days staying at my Grandma and Grandpa Davis's house in Ruthven. I believe I have mentioned Ruthven before. :)

While my sisters were still alseep I would get up and head downstairs. It was a wrap around staircase and the second I got to the landing between the staircases the smell of coffee came wafting through my nose. Now I do not know what kind of coffee my grandmother used, but she did use a percalator type coffee maker. It smelled sooooo good. I loved the smell of it and even today if I smelled the same coffee I would recognize it.

There was also the sound of the radio that was always on a news type radio station. Come to think of it there was never any sight of Grandma or Grandpa. Weird. I suppose Grandpa was already in the field or junk yard or tending the farm animals and Grandma was in her garden.

The smell of that coffee will remain a memory forever. I wish I could go there today just for the smell of the coffee.

Saturday Night Geneaology Fun

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I decided to join in Randy Seaver's Saturday night challenge and answer the question "Why do you do genealogy?"

I have found the most rewarding hobby! As you all know, it is so much fun when the light goes off and you connect people, or confirm something you always knew but just could not connect the dots.

Genealogy is also amazing when you can share what you have learned with new cousins, or even my own family members. My sisters are all so shocked when I give them a new story. They are just glad that I'm doing this so they won't have too.

New cousins are amazing. The fellow genealogists are always willing to help out and answer questions.

Need I say more? It is incredibly satisfying.

Follow Friday - The Happy Genealogist!

Friday, June 25, 2010

When I first started researching my family tree in 2007, I had not a clue what I was doing. It all started by downloading the My Heritage Family Tree Builder. It is a great program in which I have found many "matches" with other family researchers. What a thrill when a new cousin pops up who shares genealogy.

Finding on-line sites has been rewarding as well. Then about a year ago I found out there were a lot of Genealogy podcast's on You Tube. More learning to be done.

THEN...... I found out about blogging for genealogists via geneabloggers! A further thrill. With that came the idea of RSS feeds through Google Reader. Wow! What a huge source of information you can get automaticaly through your reader from all you bloggers. The amazing bits of tips and genealogical information is fantastic.

Thank you all for your incredible help with my genealogical researching. Every day I am thrilled with more tips.

I am a simple blogger that is continuing to learn every day thanks to you. In other words, I am a "Happy Genealogist"!

Wordless Wednesday Wonder

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - The Best

Here is the tombstone of Stuart and Laura (Nelson) Davis, my Grandparents. They lived in Ruthven, Iowa, just one of my favorite places in the world. They are resting in Crown Hill Cemetery. A nice shady resting place.

They are greatly missed and will always be remembered.

Treasure Chest Thursday- Grandpa's Lantern

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh my. My eyes feel really weary because of the scutinization finding the production date on this lantern. I even used a magnifying glass!

Here is a picture my husband took for me the other day of my Grandfather's lantern. How did I come about getting it? About 5 years ago I was visiting my Mom and her Eldest brother in Walla Walla Washington. Mom and I went over to Uncle Jim's place and he was saying he needed to clear out the shed. I saw this cool looking lantern hanging there and said "what about that lantern?" "Oh yeah" he said, "that was Dad's. I found it hanging in the barn. Do you want it?" Of course I jumped at it.

This lantern hung in Grandpa's Davis's barn? I loved Grandpa's barn! The cousins would have sleep overs in there. The cousins would make forts out of the bales of hay. We could hear mice in there. (gross) It was a priviledge for me to acquire my Grandpa's lantern.

The other day I saw it hanging in our garage. I asked my husband to bring it in to the house so I could clean it up. It was shocking how well the globe cleaned up. It is made of really thick glass. Like coke bottle glass. This would be perfect for Treasure Chest Thursday!

I did some research. This is a New York No. 2 Dietz Blizzard lantern. The globe is a LOC-NOB Fitzall. I'm not sure what the 4H stamp stands for at this time. The patent numbers and production date were stamped onto one side of the air tube to the right of the fuel cap. They even stamped numbers on the crease! From what I can tell this lantern was produced in the Syracuse Factory #2 in August or September of 1945. That was before I was born!

Did I ever see that lantern? Did my mom or her five brothers carry this around in snow storms to check on the animals? Wow........ Thanks Uncle Jim! Of course this was the barn in Ruthven, Iowa.

Wordless Wednesday - Adorable

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Tombstone Tuesday - Baby Great Aunt

Today for Tombstone Tuesday I chose to share a photo of my Great Aunt's tombstone. No one ever talked about her so when I came across her during the beginning of my research, some of us were shocked that Grandma had a baby sister who had died. Although Grandma was the youngest of her siblings, Betty had died before she was even born.

It really makes you wonder - here was a family that came from Sweden with one daughter, settled in the small town of Ruthven, Iowa, then had another little girl who died before she was even two years old. What happened to her? Was she ill? Did she get into an accident? How sad for my Gr Grandparents who lost a baby in a new land. They could not mourn with their parents or other siblings they had left behind in Sweden. The sorrow must have been unbearable. Years later they were laid to rest beside their baby Betty.

This post is dedicated to my Great Aunt Betty Nelson. She was the very first family member buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Ruthven, Iowa. Since then, many family members have joined her in this special cemetery. A couple of years ago I had the priviledge of visiting the gravestones of of Betty and many other ancestors there.

Sentimental Sunday Grandpa's Dilly Bars

Sunday, June 13, 2010

For Sentimental Sunday I thought of a very fond memory. Saturday night was always a special night for my Grandpa Davis. He would travel from Ruthven, Iowa in to the larger town of Spencer to get a sack full of Dilly Bars from the Dairy Queen. Then he would bring them back for all the kids who waited excitingly at his house with Grandma, Aunts and Uncles. Usually this consisted of quite a few cousins.

I can remember the sack. It was really thick to keep the cold in. The sack went from one person to another as they selected their treat. I was so happy when there were enough Dilly Bars so that I could have one too! It made me feel special. Everyone paused to eat their favorite flavored Dilly Bar as Grandpa happily watched. Of course he bought enough for the adults to have one, him included!

My Grandpa on my maternal side was Stuart Donald Davis. He owned a junk yard which I will tell you about some day. I loved him very much.

Wordless Wednesday - Sister's!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

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1921 - Cedar Lake, Linn County, Iowa

Tombstone Tuesday - Andrew S. Davis

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Andrew S. Davis
B April 20, 1821
D November 24, 1898

Woodland Cemetery
Des Moines, Iowa

Woodland Cemetery chapel.

Des Moines Daily News, November 25, 1898

DAVIS- Andrew, aged 77 years at his home, 2108 Woodland avenue, November 24, at 3:30 p.m. Mr. Davis was a member of Crocker post, G.A.R. and the funeral services tomorrow at 3 p.m., will be under the direction of that post. They will be held at the Cemetery chapel, Dr. Eaton officiating. Mr. Davis leaves a wife and children as follows: Mrs. B. F. Gifford, of 1115 Locust street; Geo. Davis, a member of the Fiftieth Iowa; also step-sons, Frank Needham, of Lowell, Mass., and J. H. Needham, of Chicago. Crocker Post members will assemble at the Cemetery chapel, at the request of Commander H. B. Hedge.


Note: The obituary above mentions he is survived by a wife and children. Andrew's wife was not noted there. Her name was Anna (Schafer) Needham Davis. This was a second marriage for Anna. Mrs. B. F. Gifford was their daughter Zena (Davis) Gifford.

Monday Madness - Driving me coo-coo!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today is Monday Madness. The frustrations I have regarding my Gr Gr Grandfather are huge! Sometimes I feel like I am obsessed with being a detective trying to figure him out. Believe me at this point, I am way farther along than I was a couple of years ago which is a good thing.

When reading the blogs from fellow blog members I keep hoping I will come across something that will totally "click". If any one is interested, please read the following on what I do have on him.

My gr gr grandfather, Andrew S. Davis was born in Hardy County, Virginia April of 1821 according to his civil war pension file records. We also found from those records he could not read or write. We stil have no idea what his middle name is except for the letter "S".

Here is the deal. I have no idea who his parents are or if he had any siblings. The next record we found after the supposed date of birth is in Des Moines, Iowa area. He enlisted in the civil war at the age of 40, survived the war and mustered out a full corporal at the end of the war in Louisville, KY in 1865.

I have found a census record of him living with Uriah White and his family before the civil war. One daughter was names Hanah. Later - Andrew's son, George W Davis (b1872 d 1932) is listed in a census living with Uriah White and his daughter Hanah when George was about 13 years old. I'm trying to figure out the connection there as well.

After the war, he married Anna (Schafer) Needham, (second marriage for her)in Nov of 1866 in Polk County, Des Moines, Iowa. He lived out the rest of his life in the Des Moines area and is buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines. Date of death, Nov 24, 1898.

Anna and Andrew also had a daughter named Zena. B 4/30/1870 D 06/06/1932. She married Benjamin F Gifford on Oct 26, 1891 in Des Moines, Iowa. They ever had any children.

From what I have tried, there are no birth or death records available for him.

I would love any information and/or photo's.

Sentimental Sunday - Strawberries and Ice Cream

It's June now and although the strawberries in Oregon are late this year because of the rain rain rain, I cannot wait until they are ready and the fruit stands start selling them. It will start happening this week I believe.

Being that today is Sentimental Sunday and thinking about strawberries coming soon, a fond memory came to mind. I thought about my grandparents farm in Ruthven, Iowa. Always on a Sunday, Grandma, my Aunt's and my mother would start preparing the strawberries. There were a ton of them to prepare. Grandpa and some of the Uncles would start cranking the old fashioned ice cream makers. Several of us cousins would help with the cranking, such as 50 cranks each. Then that evening everyone got some ice cream with plenty of strawberries on it! There were lots of cousins, Uncles and Aunts all enjoying strawberries and home made ice cream on a hot Iowa evening. There never were any left overs! What a fond memory.

Yum, Yum.

Treasure Chest Thursday Grandpa's Coin

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This is a true treasure to me. You see, the coin was carried by my Gr Gr Grandfather, Andrew S. Davis, in his shoe during the Civil War. He was a member of the Iowa Company E, 4th Infantry for the Union. He signed in at the age of 40 and mustered out as a full Corporal. He was also a flag holder at the Grand Army Parade in Washington DC at the end of the war. My cousin atually has possesion of this coin and he will pass it along to his son, also named Andrew.

The envelope reads: "This 50 cent piece was carried by Grandfather Davis in Shermans March to the sea. Also - up the coast to Washington to be mustered out at the close of the war.______" We believe the writing on the envelope is that of my Grandpa, Stuart Davis.

Don't you just think this is cool? I sure do.

Tombstone Tuesday - Nicholas Magnus Hanson

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This is my first Tombstone Tuesday post. Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

I would say this is the most elaborate tombstone of any of my relatives. At least, so far that I have seen. This tombstone is of my Gr Gr Grandfather on my Paternal side. Nicholas Magnus Hanson is buried in the Oak Shade Cemetery in Marion, Lynn County, Iowa.

Here is the obituary of Nicholas Magnus Hanson. It looks as though he had a very painful death.


Nicholas Magnus Hansen was born in Sweden March 11, 1848. He was married to Alma Holstenson April 24, 1875 in Sweden. With their three children they came to Ishgrining, Mich., in 1880 They lived there three years and then came to Linn county near Marion. His wife died Nov. 22, 1895. Eleven children were born of this marriage ten of whom survive. Mrs. Albert Fahl, Mrs. Charles Benedict, Mrs. Fred Putnum, Arthur, Maggie, Halgie, Edith, Emma, Clara and Hazel.
He was married to Bertha Westcott Augu 25, 1900. One child blessed this union. Lester five months old. Mr. Hansen was injured by a crowbar on Thursday last resulting in perhonitis, from which he suffered severely until Sunday last when he died at 6:20 a.m. He was a kind loving husband and a tender and affectionate father. He was impulsive in temperament, kind in spirit and generous in action. While he did not make an open profession of religion he said that he never retired without praying in his heart. He was an enthusiastic member of the four branches of Odd Felowship, he was also a member of the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Precept, and of the Mystic Toilers, and was in high esteem by them all. He will be missed by these and by a wide circle of appreciative friends.
Funeral services were held at the M. E. church at 3 p.m., Sept. 10th, by Rev. N. Pye, the Odd Fellows having charge of the service.