and Tombstone-ing Tuesday

December 22, 2009

Edwin E. Ellefson was born in 1880, the first generation of Rochester MN Ellefsons that were born in the States VS. his father who was born in Norway.  Edwin is also the Great Grand Uncle of my husband Keith.

Edwin was the youngest son of Engbret Ellefson (B. 1848, in Norway) and Martha Olive Gresseth (B. 1851, Norway), the third of 5 children and the youngest son.  He married Bertha A  and they had 6 children.


…and Friday Following Amy

December 18, 2009

For my very first “Friday Follow” post I wanted to give Gene Pool props to Amy Coffin, over at We Tree. Amy describes herself and her blog thusly:

Welcome to my blog, where I chronicle my own adventures in genealogy and hopefully inspire you to do the same.

Genealogy is not boring. It is more than just dates. Each fact, each discovery is a piece to your ancestral puzzle. As you study your family’s history, a picture emerges of your past and provides purpose for your future.

Amy has managed to keep me inspired me to join ProGen and to create my own Genealogical blog. She also introduced me to Footnote.

You should really check her out

..and searching for “Tote” Carson

December 11, 2009

Next to my husband and my son’s, right now Knowlton “Tote” Carson is the most important man in my life.

I was introduced to Tote by way of an old photo album, and have been researching him for the past few weeks. It’s slow going but I have managed a few high points.

I have managed to contact one of his daughters and interviewed her twice. She provided the death date of her mother and the nicknames of her maternal grandparents (always good to have notated in the family history). She also clued me in on why I couldn’t locate any info on Tote’s mother…apparently she and his father divorced in the 20’s (that’s the NINEteen 20’s, folks) while Tote was in college. Wow.

She also explained that why I hadn’t been able to contact the oldest daughter. She’s apparently in a nursing home due to illness.

On the plus side (it’s a plus from a research perspective, but it’s also kind of sad on a historic level), I found more Tote treasures at a local thrift store. I found an alumni medal presented to a “Mrs. K.E. Carson” of Kansas during the 1959 reunion of the Rainbow Division (42nd Division of the US Army). I also found two small silver pocket knives that were inscribed with Knowlton’s nickname and last name. One of them also had the birthdates of Mrs. Knowlton Carson, his two daughters, one son and three grandaughters (two of which have since passed.) I personally loved them, but I was sad that they were in a thrift shop, having been sold for a pittance.

I suppose I might have to get used to this.

Dear Genea-Santa

December 6, 2009

Dear Genea-Santa:

I know I don’t have a lot to show, but I really have been a really good Genea-Girl this year….It was a slow start.

I decided that I want to pursue my certification (CGRS) and possible start researching family histories professionally. I joined ProGen, and the National Genealogical Society. I have used my love for social networks to join Geneawise to learn from others.

I know that there are right ways and wrong ways to research, Genea-Santa…but I believe that networking with other Genealogists is a good way to learn what do to and how to get past stumbling blocks.

I also developed a new non-familial project. I found a photo album from a Knowlton Carson, and am going to be researching that family line. I hope to use him as the basis for my certification. So far I have found his parents, his Paternal Grandparents, his wife, her parents, and his children. I have even attempted to contact both of his daughters and am hoping that they will be gracious enough to let me interview them.

So there you have it my dear Genea-Santa, all I really want for Christmas is an interview with both of his daughters to provide some more clues.


(AKA, Da Momma)

Advent Calender–> Day 3, Christmas Ornaments

December 3, 2009

It’s strange, I don’t remember any generational christmas ornaments growing up. I remember making ornaments as a child, especially those pipe cleaner candy canes that I could hang on the tree. Pipe cleaners shaped like the canes…then those triangle-shaped beads that you group together by twos in alternating colors of red and white…and then those homemade dough ornaments. I remember making a star cutout ornament with that dough and a tree, and then I remember painting the things…but that was when I was 5 years old. But I don’t remember seeing any ornaments from my mother’s childhood.

How Odd. I supposed that also explains why I had to start over again when I became an adult. It never occurred to me to ask my mother for any when I moved out.

I will have to break that tradition and let the girls take one or two (or even more) when they move out….they can start over, but they should start out with family ornaments.

Advent Calender–>Day Two, (or it’s all about the Food, Baby)

December 2, 2009

I decided to participate in the Advent Calender from GeneaBloggers but realized that I had to skip the first day. I am hoping to post each day as a small diversion from my current Genea-project.

We’ll see how it goes.

Growing up, my mother would make tons (I’m almost being literal here) of Chocolate Chip cookies to give as gifts. Somehow I didn’t think that my parents had that many friends to warrant 100+ Dozens of Cookies, each of them baked by my mother, who was juggling cookie sheets and trying valiantly to keep my dad and I from filching a cookie here and there. Who would have thunk that my mother could keep track of that many cookies, to the last damn chip no less. She KNEW when one was missing.

Either that or she was an exceptional guesser.

Regardless, I had the Toll House Chocolate Chip recipe memorized by the time I was seven. Mom actually toned down the cookies by the time I was eight. That’s when she discovered the jet-puffed marshmallow creme and the “heavenly Fudge” recipe on the back of the label.

There was no stopping her after that.

It was kind of like Bubba from the Forrest Gump..”Shrimp cocktail, Shrimp Scampi, Fried Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Shrimp soup…” only with my mother it was the Jet-puffed Fudge. Mint, Orange, With nuts, Cherry, Raspberry..She might have been a tiny bit pathological, but the jury is still out on that.

There were also the savory foods for the holidays….Always Turkey, potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Packets of brown gravy mix. And the Candied Yams.

The Yam’s were a tradition from my greatgrandmother. The one that passed two months prior to my birth. I had to eat them every year both on Thanksgiving and Christmas, to honor said Grandmother. The kitchen counter was set up like a buffet and there was always that 3 quart square casserole dish. Silently judging your worth by the scoop you put on your plate. A dish full of cinnamon laced, light orange glop, piled high with canned whipped cream.

I was an unworthy kid. I hated that dish. The high point of my first Christmas as an adult was that I didn’t have to make Candied yams. My mother has made it a point to bring a dish anytime she comes over for the holidays. I don’t eat it, the kids aren’t fond of it, and Keith can’t stand it. Needless to say the dogs like when my mother comes by on the holidays.

My girls will hopefully add Macaroni Salad to their holiday list as they grow older. They will probably ditch the Green Bean Casserole….we shall see.

…and searching for Surnames

November 22, 2009

I want to locate any fellow Orella’s. It’s the Orella line that initially hooked me into the genealogy path….Orella is the family of my father’s, paternal Grandmother, Dariel Antonia Orella Hadsell. Sadly I never met Dariel, however, I felt sometimes that I must have known her as much as Grandpa Bill talked about her.

If you have any input or feedback or info on an Orella in your life, let me know!

…and giddy with excitement

November 18, 2009

OMG OMG OMG………I fell into a FANTABULOUS Genealogical find….Keith and I were went into an antique shop that is in town…he found this handmade photo album. The photo album’s owner is one Knowleton Carson of Kansas City. He was in WWII, which is why Keith loves the album. (For those those who are new to me, Keith’s passion is WWII militaria, primarily German and Japanese. It’s pretty compatible with my passion for Genealogy….) I have decided to use this as the basis for being certified as a CGRS. WHOHOOOOOOOO!!!

I will update this as I learn more about the Carson’s…but I am so excited.

..And learning about the Blenman’s

August 3, 2009

I was at the Pima County Antique fair today and I found some old pictures that I thought were very interesting.

I thought maybe if I posted the pictures here that perhaps anyone looking for Blenman family members would appreciate them.

Apparently, the Blenman family has some big business here in Tucson.  There is an elementary school named after Charles Blenman, who was a judge here in Pima county.

Here is a picture taken of Mrs. Charles Blenman (first name Louisa) taken in 1915, in San Fransico, California.
Lousia Blenman

Below is another picture taken in San Fransico, dated 1912, with Louisa and Son Charles, Jr..  Charles is 14 months  at the time the picture is taken.

Louisa Blenman and Charles Jr.

Below is a picture of Louisa, Charles Jr. and youngest son William (noted on back of picture as Billy) dated 1915.

Lousia and children

Census Records for 1930 has the family living in Pima county Arizona.  At this time, William is 16, and Charles Jr is 18.

I was unable to locate pictures of Charles Sr, who was a lawyer from England, myself; however, I did find this Picture of Charles Sr. Charles Sr, died in 1936.  In 1878, Charles established the only known example in the world of a San Francisco Victorian home built in Territorial-style of adobe mud, called the Blenman house, in Tucson.

According to the St Petersburg Times dated April 19, 1941, Charles Jr (now a Lieutenant in the US Navy) married Ms. Rhea Loomis.

..and looking for Bonnie (Parker)

August 1, 2009

Everyone knows who Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow is.

My current task is to connect one Opal Parker of MN to Ms. Bonnie Parker of TX.

I’m not having any luck so fair….But verbal family history indicates that Bonnie Parker is Opal’s niece.  I just haven’t been able to connect it yet.