Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Way-Back Machine Edition

Mom, Grandma Grace, Baby Aunt Joan

A few years ago, I participated in the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. You can read my posts here.

This year, I’m going to do something a little different. I recently acquired a bunch of photos from my mom’s childhood and a large percentage of the photos are from around the holidays. I’m going to try and post most of the photos following this year’s advent calendar prompts.

Stay tuned for lots of 1950s holiday action. The fun starts tomorrow!

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

Meet Herman Wild (1876 – 1928)

I spent Thanksgiving at my Aunt Dorrie’s house. My bed was next to a bookcase filled with many family photos. There I saw a photo I barely recognized from when it sat in my grandma’s apartment. I never realized who it was when I was little, but my aunt confirmed that it was my great-grandfather, Herman Wild. Fortunately, I had brought my Flip-Pal scanner with me and scanned the above along with several other photos.

Herman, about whom I have blogged before, was the son of Fridolin Wild (of Germany) and Lena Hoyer. The family lived in San Antonio, Texas. He married Susan Campbell Bennett and their son Herman Bennett Wild was my grandfather.

Another genealogical discovery (for me) over the holiday was that I got to see a stein my aunt has that is engraved with Herman’s sister’s name, Josefa Wild. My aunt didn’t even realize that it was a family heirloom until several years after she received it from my grandmother.

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Wordless Wednesday: Halloween c. 1955

While scanning family photos, my aunt and I came across this Halloween class photo (my mom is in the back row, 6th from the left, wearing a bonnet and glasses; I think she’s either a pilgrim or a nurse). This would have been circa 1955. I find the masks to her left completely terrifying. Some of the costumes remind me of the Halloween scenes from the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.

October Remembrances

October is an interesting month for me and my family. We celebrate many birthdays, but we’ve also lost loved ones.
I lost my grandmother and then my mom exactly two years and one day apart from each other (October 28, 2001, and October 29, 2003, respectively). Earlier this year, I came across this photo of the two of them while going through old family photos with my aunt. I’ve since printed and framed it.

My Week in Search Terms

As a blogger, I’m obsessed with site metrics and as a researcher/librarian, I’m obsessed with search terms. WordPress satisfies both obsessions with its blog statistics, which let me know how people find my blog by searching the Internet.

I found several interesting search terms over the past week (for still more search-term hilarity, I suggest you visit my friend Amy’s We Tree blog for her “Fun with Search Terms” posts).

1943 guide to hiring women — perhaps this week’s “Binders Full of Women” meme made you think of this brochure that informed 1940s government managers about the ins and outs of hiring and employing women.

andrew jackson photos — unfortunately, Andrew Jackson died in 1845, pre-dating most photographic technology. My second great grand uncle Andrew Jackson Corley, on the other hand, lived in the late 1800s, and I was lucky to come across a photo of him.

how to flip my couch into a flatbed — I think the method you use will be determined by the type of couch you have (Hopefully you have a sleeper sofa. Otherwise, I’m not sure how successful you’ll be). You found my blog because of my post about my Flip-pal scanner — one of my best purchases of 2012. I highly recommend you get one too. You can use it while on your couch or while on your bed.

roots tech 2012, going to — RootsTech 2012 was back in February, but you’re in luck! The event will take place again in March 2013. Hope to see you there.

why are maganetic albums badMagnetic albums are bad. Really, really bad. I highly recommend using an acid-free album like these from Creative Memories (I am a CM consultant) to better protect your photos.

“alfred t. gourley” civil war — nice use of quotation marks to create a phrase out of the name. Unfortunately, even though you most likely also are a descendant of my third great-grandfather, you didn’t reach out (and I even have a special request at the top of this post asking for you to make contact). Next time, stop by and say hello! I don’t bite.

abbey mausoleum arlington wiki — It would be great if there were a wiki for this now-defunct mausoleum, which was looted over many years of neglect. I posted about my search for ancestors who used to be buried there. Hopefully you also found this FindaGrave page about Arlington Abbey, including old pictures of the facility.

SNGF: Longest Gravestone Line

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

Tonight’s mission from Randy Seaver is perfect for October:

Determine what is your longest unbroken line of ancestral gravestones – how many generations can you go back in time?  Do you have photographs of them?

Unfortunately, I can’t go back too terribly far in terms of my own family’s gravestones. I do have a photo of my dad’s gravestone (though I won’t post it for privacy reasons) and I’ve posted about my search for his parents’ and grandparents’ stone.

The photo trail goes cold in terms of the next generation of Corleys — Benjamin William Franklin Corley and his wife Lois (Wakefield) Corley (though I know them to be buried in Tower Hill Cemetery in Shelby County, Illinois; I’ve requested photos of their graves). On my dad’s maternal side, I did have the luck of finding his grandparents at Laurel Hill in Philadelphia. The cemetery sent me a photo of a headstone listing my great-grandparents William B. Hill and his wife Martha (Simpson), but it is copyrighted.

HAYES Headstone

When my mom died, she wished for her ashes to be scattered in the garden of her church. There is no marker. If I were to skip to the next generation, I do have a photo of my maternal grandparents grave (again, not posting for privacy reasons). Just a couple of years ago, I finally got to visit the grave of my great-grandparents, Della Crow and William Hayes.

I haven’t found a photo of the grave of William’s father, Joseph (but this post spurred me to request one via FindaGrave). I haven’t found death information for his mother yet. Likewise, I haven’t had much luck finding stones for Della’s parents.

No Need to Adjust Your Screen

No need to adjust your screen. After three years, I finally decided to give Bayside Blog a new look.

I had many reasons for doing so. The old blog layout was so skinny, in terms of the column width that was allotted for actual blog post content. All photos appeared very small. The header graphic was very large and pushed a lot of the content too far down the page. Most importantly, I heard that it was not a very accessible design for those with vision problems. The text was a light gray (a setting I couldn’t adjust) and hard to read.

The new look, I hope, is more visually pleasing and I know it will be more flexible in terms of what I want to be able to display. The wider main column will especially be helpful.

I’ve added a couple of new features. There is a link to my Facebook page for my house history section of my business. I also added a widget that displays the complete list blog post categories, for easier browsing.

Please let me know what you think!

Treasure Chest Thursday: Becker Bier Artifacts

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

My aunt very generously shared many items with me over the holiday weekend and I’m thrilled to have acquired a few items related to Bierbrauerei Becker in St. Ingbert. I am somehow related to this brewery and am getting closer to figuring out the connection thanks to some photos we scanned this weekend.

German Wild cousins of mine married into the Becker family. When my grandfather was stationed in Germany, he took his wife and kids to the brewery and there they collected several souvenirs, including postcards and the ashtray below.

An ashtray bearing the Becker Bier insignia.

Bierbrauerei Becker postcard

The same view, in a color image, on the cover of a booklet about the brewery.

My understanding is that the brewery no longer makes beer. I had hoped to try it someday, but instead settle for asking anyone I know who’s been to Germany if they tried it and what did they think.

Returning a Long-Borrowed Ruler

In going through the treasure-trove of items saved by my grandmother, my aunt came upon three wooden rulers. One was made of samples of each kind of wood traditionally used in furniture. The other two were shaped like long pyramids, with a different measuring system on each side.

My aunt said that I should take one of the rulers. I noticed that one had my grandfather’s name written on it and I said she should keep that one. The other had a completely unrelated individual’s name on it! How strange.

My grandfather graduated high school in 1930 in San Antonio, Texas. Apparently he was classmates with someone named Fred A. Slimp and came into possession of his ruler. I can only assume he borrowed it at some point. Or perhaps he picked it up by accident in class one day.

I began trying to find Fred A. Slimp. And find him I did — and three children. Fred died in 1996, but I believe that at least one of his sons is still alive and that I have a current address for him. I hope he gets a kick out of receiving the ruler when I send it to him.

Meet Anson G. Bennett, My 2nd Great-Grandfather

Anson G. Bennett

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

This weekend, one of my aunts and I went through a ton of photos and documents that used to belong to my grandmother. Among the treasures was a funeral announcement for my second great-grandfather, Anson G. Bennett. I wrote about him briefly before.

One of the most exciting things about the article was the photo shown here — I’d never seen his photo before. Unfortunately, the newspaper clipping isn’t dated or identified by publication name. It most likely came from one of the San Antonio papers.

The article reveals several new-to-me facts. One of Anson’s sons was San Antonio city clerk. Anson was buried at St. Mary’s parish cemetery. Anson’s address at the time of his death was 619 Cedar Street.

619 Cedar Street, San Antonio

The following excerpt is especially rich in detail:

“A native of Missouri, he was brought to San Antonio in a covered wagon by his father, Capt. Sam C. Bennett, Civil War veteran and boat captain on the Mississippi river between St. Louis and New Orleans.” (“A. G. Bennett Funeral Services Set,” date and publication unknown.)

I already knew that Anson died on 12 Mar 1944. I didn’t know about his father’s Civil War service. I believe he served the Confederacy as I have evidence he was a slave owner (an obituary for one of the family’s slaves was even published in the San Antonio Express).

Beyond the above clues, searching anew for information on Anson led me to his listing in the 1940 census. I also found another newspaper article that said Samuel C. Bennett was custodian of the Alamo for three years prior to his death in 1900 (“Capt. Bennett Dead,” Dallas Morning News, 16 Jan 1900, digital image, GenealogyBank, http://genealogybank.com : accessed 2 Sep 2012.). I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot more material to find on him.