Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Magnus Hanson


Magnus Hanson
Born 20 Nov 1883 in Akan, Richland, Wisconsin
Died 10 Dec 1883 in Akan, Richland, Wisconsin (of an unknown cause)
Laid to rest at the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Akan, Richaland, Wisconsin

For more information, please visit the following links: Hanson Family Burial Plot and Related Hanson Family Posts

Monday, November 29, 2010

Photo Restoration: Children of Ulysses Lindley

A recent CD discover has provided me with a ton of new photos of my Grandma's sister and her family.  Among these photos was this treasure: an undated photo of my Grandma's father (Earnest Lindley - upper right) and his siblings.
Before  (Click to Enlarge)
Back (L-R): Frank and Earnest Lindley.
Front (L-R): Mary, Jim, and Francelia Lindley.

As previously mentioned, I am unsure of the date of the photo, but judging by the ages of the siblings in the photo I would put it around the late 1920's or early 1930's. The photo was taken in Cedar Rapids, Iowa by Lasswell Studio (still in business, started in 1909).

Sadly, the photo is pretty beat up. There are many discoloration marks, pen marks, grime, and what looks like a red-colored nail polish on the right side.  Because this is such a great treasure for my family (we don't have many photos of our ancestors), I knew it had to be restored. The problem is that photo restoration can be expensive.

After  (Click to Enlarge)
Back (L-R): Frank and Earnest Lindley.
Front (L-R): Mary, Jim, and Francelia Lindley.
So, I decided to tackle it myself and having limited experience with editing photos, this was quite the departure for me. I used a free downloadable photo editing software called GIMP and found it a bit tricky to use at first. So, after fumbling around for a bit, I decided  that some playtime in the software was required and it got easier to use as time went on. In the end, I ended up really liking the software and will continue to use it in future projects. In the end, I'm happy that my first attempt at photo restoration and look forward to improving my skills. So, if any one has any tips for me, please leave a comment!

My Grandma and her sister are very excited to see this photo of their father and his siblings. My mom told them that I had discovered the photo and that it was in bad shape, but not that I tried to restore it. I'm going to surprise them with framed copies at Christmas. I am sure they will treasure it as much as I do.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

This Week in Our Family History: November 28 - December 3

November 30
Magnus Hanson was born 30 Nov 1883 in Wisconsin to Hans J. and Antonette (Hoff) Hanson. Sadly, Magnus only lived for 10 days and passed away on 10 Dec 1883 of an unknown cause.  He is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin.

December 2
Charles R. Tyler married Nancy Jane Burns-Townsend.  This was the second marriage for Charles and the third for Nancy. They resided in rural Richland County, Wisconsin. Charles was 63 years old at the time and Nancy would have been roughly 49 years old.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Importance of Labels and a Filing System

As a twenty-something, I have this horrible habit of moving residences every year.  Over the course of the past 10 years, these moves have found me in four states and even for a short while, England.  The worst part of moving is packing, and those who know me well know I loathe packing.  During my last few moves I have gotten really good at the "throw anything paper-related in one box, technology in another, etc." method.  When I would arrive at a new residence I would unpack the necessities and just leave the "paper-related" boxes packed. After all, if tradition continued, I would be moving again in a mear 12 months.

I have recently come to terms with the fact that I am a 'real' adult now and that I need to be organized like one.  So, I've been slowly going through my random box of papers and to my delight, have every certificate of appreciation I have earned, along with piles of brochures and maps from my travels abroad.  Towards the bottom of one box I found a CD without a label that was stuffed in a plain white paper envelope with a FedEx  Kinko's stamp on the outside.

I didn't recognize the envelope right away, but on second glance thought it might have been a digital copy of photos from a childhood accident of mine that my aunt made copies of.  Not wanting to revisit that incident I put it off for a few days. A few days later, I popped the CD into the computer. It was not photos from my childhood, instead - about 100 photos that look to be of my maternal Grandmother's sister's family! Complete with file names of people and places!

What an amazing little find! I have no recollection of receiving this CD, but I am so happy that someone thought to make me a copy!! I will be posting a few of the photos this weekend and will continue to roll them out as posts allow. And yes, I have learned my lesson. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lincoln David Heisz's WWI Draft Card

I have, once again found one of my grandfather's WWI Draft Registration Card on Ancestry.com. This time around, I found the draft card of my paternal g-g-grandfather, Lincoln David Heisz.  I have saved the digital image from the website, and am sharing it with you below.  If you are having trouble viewing the image text, please click on the image to enlarge it or click here to view a WWI draft registration template.




Two things about this registration card jumped out to me immediately. Did you notice? First, his name is listed as David Lincoln Heisz, not Lincoln David Heisz. While first and middle names often get reversed, this is the first document that lists his name this way. In all the US Census', Wisconsin Death Index, Social Security Death Index and family information, he is listed as Lincoln David. Second, his birth day is listed as 20 May 1877, not 20 May 1879. According to his Social Security Death Index the latter is correct. His headstone, however, splits these dates and states that his birth year is 1878. We can almost certainly discount this as his death year is wrong also.


David Lincoln Heisz registered for the WWI Draft on 12 Sept 1818 in Crawford County, Wisconsin.  He is listed as having been born a natural born citizen on 20 May 1877 in Crawford County, Wisconsin, making him 41 years old.  At the time of the draft, he resided at (Route?) 1, Gays Mills, Crawford, Wisconsin.  At the time of the draft, he was a self-employed as a farmer at (Route?) 1, Gays Mills, Crawford, Wisconsin.  He was married with a wife, Mrs. Theresa Heisz, also of (Route?) 1, Gays Mills, Wisconsin.  The Registrar's Report lists him as a man of medium height and build with blue eyes and dark hair, with no missing appendages or obvious physical disqualifications.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Charley F. Miller's WWI Draft Registration Card

I recently found my Great-Grandfather's WWI Draft Registration Card on Ancestry.com. I have saved the digital image from the website, and am sharing it with you here, as part of my effort to show you the stepping stones along the way in my research.  I would like to be able to do an Ancestral Spotlight on Charley Miller in the near future and am in the process of gathering documents.



Charles Francis Miller registered for the WWI Draft on 5 June 1917 in Akan Township, Richland County, Wisconsin. He is listed as having been born a natural born citizen on 10 Aug 1891 in Crawford County, Wisconsin, making him 25 years old.  At the time of the draft, he resided at R.F.D. (Rural Free Delivery) #2, in Boaz, Wisconsin. At the time of the draft, he was employed as a farmer in Akan, Richland, Wisconsin. He was married with a wife (Ruby M. Dyer) and one child (Verlin C. Miller). The Registrar's Report lists him as a tall man of medium build with brown eyes and dark brown hair, with no missing appendages. :)

Always, Sara Beth 


© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Immanuel Lutheran "The Mother" Church - Established 1857

Through this blog, I recently connected with a distant cousin on my Miller side (his gr-great grandfather and my gr-gr-great grandfather are brothers). He and my mother were chatting at the Miller Family Reunion a couple weeks ago and she happened to bring up some of my non-Miller research. Soon enough, they made the connection that both of our Norwegian ancestors, on our Hanson sides, settled in the neighboring Richwood and Akan Township areas in Richland County, Wisconsin.  (We have not been able to prove a relationship on this Hanson side, as there were several Hanson families living in this Norwegian settlement.)

One of the reasons I am so happy that they made this connection is that our Hanson ancestors are buried in the same cemetery: Immanuel Luther Cemetery. I have previously blogged about this cemetery and even made reference to the fact that I thought the small foundation on the sight might have once supported the mother church itself.  It turns out, my suspicions were correct.  My cousin recently sent me a package of information (Thanks again, Eddie!) that contained a history of the area, his Hanson family, and information on the Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Not only did he send me what documents he had, but he put together a nice write about of all the information he had on the church.


The following is taken directly from his notes: "In the spring of 1857, the neighbors got together, and financed the building of their first church - to be constructed of logs.  This church was located on a ridge in the S.E. quarter of Section 3 of Richwood Township in Richland County.  The church land and cemetery lots were donated by Nels Hanson.  The church was completed and read for use that first fall of 1857."


My cousin's notes say that "there came a time in 1885 when it was either to repair the old log structure or erect a new building.  The old log building was beginning to rot and the squirrels had damaged logs along the foundation and around the eaves. at a congregational meeting in March of 1885, they agreed to build a new church. Negotiations were made with Nils Hanson [my Miller cousin's great-grandfather] to buy a site on his property.  The plot was purchased.  Construction of this building began in the spring of 1887.  All work was done by members of the congregations who donated the lumber which was sawed and finished at private mills.  The building was finished by November so that it could be heated for winter use.  The church was dedicated in November 1887, with Pastor J.O. Naess conducting the dedication rites."  A steeple was later added to the church (date unknown).


"Additional Norwegian immigrants settled to the North, in Akan Township and the people from that area decided to build another Lutheran Church in 1897. The location selected was where five roads joined, in a settlement called Five Points."  The Immanuel Church was often referred to as the South Church, after the Five Points Church was built. Ministers served both churches for several years.  The numbers at the South, or Mother Church, dwindled as the numbers at the newer Five Points Church swelled.  This led to the the closing of the Immanuel Lutheran (Mother) Church in the 1940's and it was eventually torn down int he 1950's.  The bell from the Mother Church is now mounted as a memorial by the entrance of the Five Points Church.

I am still a bit in shock that he has all this information on the Mother Church.  It seems that every time I am in Wisconsin, I end up taking another relative on a journey to visit our recently found Norwegian ancestors.  These journey's always left me trying to imagine what the Mother Church looked like and now I have an answer.

Always, Sara Beth 

*Text shown in quotes is taken directly from a document my cousin Eddie sent me.
 © Sara B. Davis - 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Maybe Emma A. (Dean) Tyler isn't missing after all!

Maybe the location of Emma A. (Dean) Tyler isn't such a mystery after all?  I recently came across the following message board post on Ancestry:

Looking for info on Emma A. or Emma Udelia Dean. Born 1836 Warren Co. Ohio. Died 1889 Platteville, Wisconsin. Married Dr. Abel Royce Tyler.

This information almost exactly matches up with our Emma A. (Dean) Tyler!   The major difference being that the 1870 United States Federal Census lists our Emma as being born in New York.  As any genealogist would tell you, these birth locations are often listed wrong for a variety of reasons and should not be a deterrent until verified.  Additionally, she is listed to the only Abel Royce Tyler I have come across and her 1889 death in Platteville places her near her remaining family after Abel's death in 1879.

I emailed the person who posted the request and she said that she got that information from her grandmother's notes.  The notes also state that Emma was French, but that was all.  The lady is going to see if she can find anything else through family.  I spent some time searching the online cemetery indexes for Grant County and came up empty handed.  Anyone in Wisconsin want to make a road trip to look up records in Lancaster?


Sara Beth 

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ancestral DNA: 25 Marker - Exact Match

We have another match in our second, more detailed, set of Y-chromosome results.  However, this time we only had one exact match out of everyone in the database, but at least he has the Miller surname!  As we test more markers, the chances of finding an exact match decreases.

This exact match at the 25 Marker set makes it a 61.17% probability that we share a common ancestor within the last 4 generations (ie: Ernest, Charley, Marion, & John).  With this recent test, our chance of sharing a common ancestor withing the last 20 generations has increased to 99.12%!  As we test more markers and find matches, the likelihood of an actual common ancestor increases.

Please remember that the Y-chromosome test only tracks the genetic material that is passed along from father to son along our direct paternal line, the Miller's. Our results on G-Ma's maternal lines are still pending.

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ancestral DNA: Y-chromosome Haplotree


Our Y-chromosome Haplotree test results for our direct Miller line shows that our Haplotree group is R1b1b2.

The Y-chromosome is only passed from father to son, and because of this my Uncle, who agreed to provide his DNA for testing, and his son are the last two living people in my maternal family to have this chromosome.

From the diagram shown at left, you can see the R1b sector starts in Eurasia and migrates west across Europe. You can click on the image to get a better view of the migration, indicated in brown with the R1b tags. Please note that our haplogroup is R1b and is the southern of the two brown migration paths. If you wish to learn more about the R1b1b2 Haplogroup you can read more here and here.

All of my research (and Sheri's too) traces our family to this section of the world, so this is a great confirmation of our work. In addition, several of the exact matches have been able to trace their lineage to Ireland, Germany, England, and Italy. The above chart shows that there is a 45.43% frequency of this Rb1 group in Europe, making it the most common haplogroup in European populations.

Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment on the blog.  That way, we can all know what each other is thinking.

I am waiting on pins and needles for the rest of the results to come in, especially the mtDNA results. Two months is a long time to wait.

Sara Beth

Data and charts shown are from Family Tree DNA.
© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Janamalia Hanson


Janamalia Hanson
Daughter of Hans J. and Antonette (Hoff) Hanson
Born January 6, 1882 in Wisconsin, USA
Died January 12, 1883 in Wisconsin, USA
Laid to rest in the Immanuel Luther Cemetery, Richwood, Richland, Wisconsin, USA

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ancestral DNA: Y-chromosome 12 Marker Matches

We received our first batch of results!  Our first set that came in are Y-chromosome results, which means that this is testing the genetic material passed along from father to son along our direct paternal line.  In our family this follows our Miller line, including Charley, Marion, and John Miller.

These first Y-chromosome results were 12 Marker, which is one of the more common genetic DNA tests.  With these results we had 75 exact matches.  These results average that there is a 33.57% chance that we share a common ancestor withing the last 4 generations. As you can guess, the more generations we go back, the more likely we are related to them (24 generations back is a 91.41% chance).

Of these 75 matches, only 3 of them had the Miller surname. To better understand how this can be, I would suggest checking out the "Understanding Matches" page over at Family Tree DNA, as they explain it better than I can. Most of our exact matches provide an email address to contact them and all three of our Miller surname matches have them, so I will be contacting them shortly to see if we can match up our family trees.

We also had a 12 Marker - Genetic Distance -1 match to a man with the surname of Moore.  This means that we were identical in all markers, but in one marker we were off by one point.  This result gives us a 7.22% chance of sharing a common ancestor within 4 generations, and a 69.20% chance of sharing a common ancestor within 24 generations. Again, for those of you who wish to understand more, please the visit "Understanding Genetic Distance" page over at Family Tree DNA.

These matches will help us connect with cousins and are essential to expanding our family history research.  Connecting with these distant cousins will make a genetic connection that some of the most extensive paper trails cannot. We are still waiting for the results of the 25 Marker, 37 Marker and 67 Marker tests among others.

I will keep you posted as more results roll in. I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July!

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Ancestral DNA: The Process

After several discussions, my several of my maternal relatives and I decided that we wanted to explore our ancestral DNA. I have one uncle who is the oldest living male in my maternal line and asked if he would be willing to take the test as his DNA could be used for both the maternal (mtDNA) and paternal (Y-chromosome) tests.  He was excited to help and we were ready to decided on a test. Everyone pitched in and the next thing we knew, we had ordered the SuperDNA test Family Tree DNA

I will be blogging our results as they come in, so stay tuned!

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Website Update

Looking around you will notice quite a few changes to this website.  In an effort to declutter the visual layout of the website, I felt it was necessary to explore a new format in order to make it user friendly.  You will notice the new layout that is easier on the eyes and has less clutter along the sides. The new design also makes it easier to view and write comments. I greatly appreciate those of you who are return visitors and love reading your comments. Keep 'em coming! :)

Sara Beth

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Where is Amelia Grace Lindley?

One of my biggest brickwalls is that of a Ms. Amelia Grace Horton Lindley, also known as Grace Amelia by some branches of the family. One of the reasons that I have such trouble with Ms. Amelia is that no one seems to have an accurate idea of what happened to her. Some say she died during or shortly after childbirth, and other say she ran away with a handsome whipper-snapper.

Without a consistent story to base my research off of, I set out to find all the documents I could in hopes of piecing together her story. Here's what I have:

The Early Years
I know that according to the 1900 US Census, Amelia (Horton) Lindley was born in May of 1875 in Iowa.  According to her marriage certificate, her parents were named G.S. Horton and ____ Stills.  A handwritten document that was passed down through the family states that her parents names were Jasper and Eliza.

Marriage
Amelia Horton married Ulysses Lindley on September 13, 1893 in Jones County, Iowa.

1900 US Census
By the 1900 US Census, Ulysses and Amelia had two children: Ernie (2 years) and Ma[r]y (8 months).  Sadly, this census also shows that Amelia had given birth to 3 children, but just the two were living.  Her birth location is listed as Iowa, her father was born in Vermont, and her mother in Wisconsin. She could read, write, and speak English. Ulysses and Amelia owned (mortgaged) a farm in Rome Township, Jones County, Iowa.

1905 Iowa State Census
Amelia and Ulysses are still living in Morely, Rome Township, Jones County, Iowa.

1910 United States Federal Census
Sometime after 1905, Amelia and Ulysses moved from Iowa to Wisconsin.  They rented a farm in Richland Township, Richland County.  Amelia is now listed as having gave birth to 5 children, 4 of whom are living: Ernest (12), Mary J (9), Frank E (7), and James (5). Her birth location and her father's remain the same, but her mother's is recorded as Ohio, instead of Wisconsin. She is still listed as having the ability to read and write.

This is Where I Lose Amelia
Ulysses and a few children show up in Willow, Richland, Wisconsin in the 1920 US Census. Ernest (22) and James (17) are listed as farm laborers with their father.  A new addition named Francelia is listed as a daughter in her relation to the head of the household (Ulysses). Ulysses is listed as Widowed.

I have searched death records and scoured local cemetery records to no avail. Which leads us to...

The Cheating Grandma?
There is a story that says shortly after giving birth to Francelia, she ran off with some whipper-snapper (my G-Ma's words, not mine). There is a tragic story about her leaving the baby but I won't go into that now until I can get proof either way. If she left, where did she go? Could either of these ladies be her?

  • Several online trees (and we all know how accurate these can be) have attached a Social Security Death Index to her of a woman by the name of Alma Lindley who died in Dec 1974 in San Diego, California. 
  • I recently found another online tree for a woman named Grace Horton MacBeth. This lady was born on 6 May 1874 in Iowa.  She died 12 Jan 1956 in Alameda, California. 

My Next Move
I now need to look into these two women listed above. I will do all I can to trace them online, and then I just may have to pony up the dough and buy their death certificates in hopes of finding more details.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Mathew F. Lomas


Mathew F. Lomas
(one of my paternal great-great-grandfathers)
Born in 1854 - Wisconsin, USA
Married Mary T. Jerrett on 27 Feb 1887 - Grant Co., Wisconsin, USA
Married Lulu E. Emmons on 14 Feb 1900 - Wisconsin, USA
Died in 1936 - Wisconsin, USA
Buried at Union Hill Cemetery, Mt. Zion, Crawford, Wisconsin, USA

© Sara B. Davis - 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Pops

My Father, Harry. 
Glacier National Park - 2000
The past few days have been extra special to me as my parents and littlest sister have been in town.  We just returned from a trip to the shore and I can't help but think about all of our similar family trips. Our family vacations were some of the most meaningful days of my life. I moved away from home almost 10 years ago and I have greatly missed my family as I struck out on my own. This weekend with them once again reminded me how blessed I have been to have a special set of parents who not only showed me the world, but made sure I knew to keep my roots planted in my faith and morals. I couldn't have asked for more.

In honor of Father's Day I wanted to say a few special words about my father. He isn't a man of many words, so I will keep this short and sweet.  What I value most in him is his love for family. He would do anything for us girls and he has, many times over. Heck, he literally saved my life when I was mauled by a dog at the age of four. He wasn't the kind of father to have long drawn out conversations on feelings and might-be's, but we had more honest conversations over hammers and nails than most kids are gifted with.  He is quiet spoken for the most part, but he will defend his family, his community, and his land to anyone, anytime.  He puts his faith in the Lord and never takes things for granted.

In addition to his day job, he has a side business, he volunteers as a fire fighter, and he is on the church and village boards. He doesn't know what downtime is and if he did, he wouldn't know what to do with it. He's that strong father figure that every daughter wishes she had and he's the man I can't live without.

I love you, Pops.
♥SB

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Bernard Miller


Bernard Miller
PFC US Army Air Corps
World War II
September 30, 1922 - January 2, 1992

I have very few memories of or information on my great-uncle Bernard. Bernard and my Grandfather, Byron, were twins who were born to Charles and Ruby (Dyer) Miller.  I know that neither of the boys were given middle names and no one seems to know why.  Both of the boys joined the Army in WWII.  From the cross on his military gravestone, I learned that Bernard was also a member of the United Methodist Church.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

My family has served this country for generations. They have been active in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Additionally, I have several family members who are members of the National Guard and have been, or will soon be, deployed. I am sure my military ancestors would approve of this quote:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. -Ronald Reagan
Both of my grandfathers fought in World War II with the Army.  I would like to take the time to share their military photos and a few words with you. Thank you both for your service!

My maternal Grandfather, Byron Miller (1922-1966), was in Co B Amphibian Tank Battalion and drove tanks in the Pacific Theater.  He received a Purple Heart for his service and was medically discharged due to the injuries he sustained. He died when my Mom was nine, therefore, I never had the chance to meet him.

My paternal Grandfather drove a nitroglycerin truck in the European Theater. In all the years I have known him he has rarely said a word about his service years. A couple months ago I found an old newspaper blurb that mentioned his name, but it was from an Indiana paper and he enlisted in Wisconsin. I called my Grandmother and she confirmed that he did his truck training there before he shipped out.  Last month, when I was in Wisconsin and he actually brought it up and seemed pleasantly surprised that I had found the article. It was a nice change, as I now feel I can move forward and try to get more information out of him.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Woah! Listed in MyHeritage.com's Top 100 Genealogy Sites!

I am excited to announce that Lessons From My Ancestors has been listed among MyHeritage.com's Top 100 Genealogy Sites!  I have been reading many of these sites for years and it is quite an honor to be listed among them.  Many of my genealogy mentors made this list and I will be ever grateful that they encouraged me to start this blog. If you have a moment, please check them out and don't forget to visit My Heritage

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spotlight on Esther Marie Tyler

This post is part of an on-going Ancestral Spotlight series that is created with the purpose of sharing my research and stories with family.

Esther Marie (Tyler) Lindley
31 March 1907 - 7 March 1974

The Woman:
Esther Marie Tyler is one of my maternal Great-Grandmothers. I never met Marie, as she died before my siblings and I were born.  I love to listen to the stories about her.  Below are a few details on her life that I gathered from one of her daughters.
  • Very good at cooking and baking.  Did a lot of canning to put food up for the winter. Her garden was large and fruitful. She baked bread 4 times a week and it never lasted long. She made homemade noodles and would dry them on a cloth draped over the back of a chair.
  • She would sing them songs and recite poems she had learned in school. Including Strawberry Roan.
  • She and Earnest broke wild horses that were captured and brought back from out west by Ross Snyder.
  • She had thick, coarse red hair and had it permed once a year.
  • Her mom died when she was 13 and she had to quit school and take care of her siblings.
  • She went to school in Richland Center.  She was a city girl who married a farm boy.
  • She loved having company.  She would bake pies and they would play euchre. 
  • She made the majority of her kids' clothes.
  • Clean windows were important to her.  She would use water, vinegar, and newspaper to clean them.
  • In 1945, she alone accompanied the body of her father-in-law, Ulysses Grant Lindley, on the train back to Iowa so he could be laid to rest with his family.
  • She always wore dresses and an apron.  
  • When she and Earnest did their trading on Saturday's they would try to get the kids circus peanuts, which were spendy at 39 cents a pound.
  • Later in life, they had a radio and she listened to Saturday Night WLS Barn Dance and Our Gal Sunday.
The Details:
[1907] Esther Marie Tyler was the first born child of William John Tyler and Juliana Hanson.  Marie was born on March 31, 1907 in Richland Center, Richland County, Wisconsin.  Her paternal Grandparents were Charles R. Tyler and Mary Jane Gard.  Her maternal Grandparents were Hans J Hanson and Antonette Hoff.

[1910] I knew Marie was born in Southwest Wisconsin in 1907 and yet was struggling to find her in the 1910 US Census.  Locating this document turned into a challenge as her surname was spelled "Tayler" and her mother Julia was listed as "Nelia"!  The actual scan of the image on Ancestry.com is rather poor and it is very hard to identify the family in it, but I have included it below nonetheless.


[1920] In the 1920 United States Federal Census, Marie E Tyler can be found living with her parents William & Julia, and 3 siblings: Jessie (10), Weldon (8), and Eldora (4). The family had relocated to Weston, Clark County, Wisconsin.  I am not sure how they ended up in the Weston area, but it is within traveling distance of where they lived in Richland Center. This Census also shows that they are renting the land they were farming.



[1924] Marie married Earnest Lindley on 20 Nov 1924 in Richland Center, Richland County, Wisconsin. They were with child at the time.

[1925] Marie gives birth to daughter Lilly Marie Lindley.

[1925] Marie gives birth to son James W. Lindley.

[1927] Marie gives birth to daughter Doris Lorraine Lindley.

[1929] Marie gives birth to son Jesse L. Lindley.

[1930] By the 1930 US Census, Earnest and Marie were living in Ithaca Township, Ricland County, Wisconsin and had two daughters and two sons: Lillie (6), James (4), Doris (2), Jesse (11 months).  Also living with them were Earnest's father Ulysesses, Earnest's brother James and his wife Ethel, and Marie's sister Eldora.  It was quite the full house!  All the adult men were listed with the occupation of laborers in the "general farm" industry.


[1931] Marie gives birth to son Allen Gene Lindley.

[1933] Marie gives birth to daughter Ardith Lindley.

[Late 1930's or early 1940's] The following photo has always been one of my favorites of the family, even though both of the older girls are not in it.  The reason I love it so much is that it is their real life, not some photographer's studio, or some special occasion, but a snap shot of their daily life.  The exact date of this photo is unknown, but judging by the age of Allen Gene, I would say that this was in the late 30's or early 40's.  


[1950-53] This is the last photo I have of Earnest and Marie together. They are pictured below with their three sons: James, Allen, and Jesse. The exact date of this photo is unknown, but judging by Jesse's uniform it was right before he left to fight in the Korean War or shortly after his return.


[1954] Earnest died of a heart-attack on 6 Nov 1954 while reading a book to a couple of his granddaughters.  Marie, had to run to the next farm to use their phone to call for a doctor.  I can't even imagine what she was feeling as she ran to make that call.


[1974] Marie died on 7 Mar 1974 following a short illness.  She and Earnest share a tombstone in the Boscobel Cemetery, Boscobel, Grant, Wisconsin.  Their stone is pictured above.  Marie's obituary appeared in The Capital Times, Saturday, March 9, 1974 (I have a scanned copy).  I have included her obituary and funeral memorial below.


Family and Friends, please leave any memories you have of Grandma Marie in the comment section below. This way, we call all enjoy them together.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Easter


I know I'm a week late on my Easter post, but I still wanted to share...

On Easter, my family and I would attend church just like every Sunday, but on Easter Sunday we donned our frilliest dresses and shiniest shoes. Most years, my mother prepare well in advance for this by carting all three of us girls to the store to buy us special dresses. We always wore cute dresses to church, but somehow, she always found us matching dresses that had yards of laces on them. I remember the old ladies in church making a fuss over how cute we looked in our Easter best.

Secularly, we would attend our village's annual Easter Egg Hunt. They always had prizes for the best dressed, best hat, best basket, etc. I'm pretty sure my sister even won best hat one year and was pictured on the front of the local newspaper.

By far, my favorite memory of Easter was the time we spent with my maternal extended family. We would all gather together for a big meal and then the adults would head outside to hide Easter Eggs. Because of the age differences of the cousins, they would hide some of the eggs super easy for the youngest cousins and others were hidden so well that they were never found. Each egg was filled with candy, change, and there was one special "Golden Egg" that had a monetary "big" bill. Now, as kids, a big bill was $5 and as we got older value of the Golden Egg grew even more!

I'm pictured in the above photo at one of these gatherings, trying to pull an egg out of the drain spout. I'm pretty sure my dad hid that one. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A New Blog Home

As some of you may have noticed, I recently purchased a domain name for my genealogy blog. I needed something that would be easier for my family and possible "cousin connections" to remember. From here on out, you will now find this blog by simply navigating to the address below. Don't forget to bookmark it! http://www.LessonsFromMyAncestors.com

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ancestor Approved Award



I am once again humbled by the number of nominations I have received for the Ancestors Approved Award. I honored to have been select by such an amazing group of genea-bloggers.  So, thank you MavisSharonMarySouthwest ArkieAstridIrish MasonKaren for your nominations and a special thanks to Leslie Ann who created this award.

The recipient of the Ancestor Approved Award lists ten things learned about their ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened. The recipient then passes the award to ten other bloggers that are doing their Ancestors proud.
  • I was humbled to discover that my 5th Great-Grandmother had a diary that was not only intact, but that resides in a museum in D.C. Visiting it in person this past summer was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
  • I was delighted to discover plat maps posted (for free) online for Richland County, Wisconsin that contained the homesteads of ancestors in several of my branches. A true treasure chest!
  • I was surprised to learned that my great-grandparents got married across the river in Iowa because they were expecting a little one in 7 months. Not that shocking today, but I am sure it was quite a fuss in the early 1900's!
  • I was delighted to find that my ancestor Abel Tyler was listed as a physician in one census record and then as a lawyer in the next. I have a bit more research to do, lol!
  • I was enlightened by the difficulties Sylvia faced daily in frontier Ohio. Reading her diary had me crying one minute and frightened the next. I don't think I would have survived life in the Western Reserve.
  • I was surprised at how willing my family is to drive to crazy remote Wisconsin locations to take pictures and walk cemeteries for me. Without their groundwork, my research would be seriously stalled.
  • I am delighted to discover that I am not the only one searching for Emma A. (Dean) Tyler!  Emma, together we will break down the brickwall time has built around you.
  • I am surprised that my ancestors never knew their ancestors. I can't even count the number of times I have discovered something and one of my grandmother's will remark "well, we never knew that about...".
  • I was surprised to see just how poor some of my ancestors were. Dirt-floor-poor has an all new meaning to me.
  • Lastly, I am delighted at how many cousins I am finding through this blog and how receptive my living relatives have been to my research. These things make it all worthwhile. 
The following 10 genea-bloggers are people whom I look up to and seek advice from on a regular basis. Your mentoring has been invaluable to me. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Marion & Ellen Miller Family


Francis Marion & Ellen (Wood) Miller
From L-R: Ray Miller, Marion Miller, Helena Miller, 
Charles Miller, Ellen Wood, Elzora Miller

A recently found cousin (found through this very blog) asked me if I had any photos of Francis Marion Miller and his wife Ellen Jeanette Wood. We are related through Marion's brother James Madison "Mad" Miller.  Lucky for him, I had scanned this photo some time ago and was happy to share it with him. 

I have two direct-line ancestors in this photo: Marion and his son Charles (center back). The back of the photo says that the photo was taken in 1914 and lists the members of the family (in order!). This photo was most likely taken on their farm in Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin. The writing on the back states that this was taken in 1914, which puts it a year before Charles's marriage to Ruby Dyer.

I love both Ellen and Elzora's hair in the photo. I don't know how they got their hair to stay like that, but it does confirm that my stick straight hair was passed down through my maternal Lindley line!  Little Lena's dress looks like it has some type of sailor-ish collar, but with the quality of the photo it makes it hard to tell. The center-part in Charlie's hair and that crazy grin remind me of my father, even though this isn't his line. 

Most of my ancestors were just average farmers and I have rarely found photos of them. So, I feel extra blessed that we have a copy of this photograph.  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spotlight on Ruby M. Dyer


Ruby Merle (Dyer) Miller 
8 May 1895 - 5 Jan 1990

Ruby Merle Dyer is my one of my Maternal Great-Grandmothers. I have very few memories of Grandma Ruby, as she died when I was 8 years old. I was lucky enough to have my mother, my cousin, my aunt and my grandmother share some stories of Ruby with me this week. I've included some of these memories below:
  • Ruby often made clothing for her grandchildren. Each summer she would make them shorts outfits and every Christmas she would make flannel pj's for them. My mother recalls that the flannel pj's smelled like the wood burning stove that was always running at Ruby's house. 
  • Ruby would make dresses for herself and on special occasions she would make them for others. Always thrifty, she would make patterns herself out of newspaper. She used a treadle machine to sew these dresses and it is still in the family today.
  • Ruby always kept her change in a piece of cloth that she knotted to keep together. When the grandchildren would come to visit her, she would give them a nickel so that they could walk to the service station and buy an ice cream cone. As children, they thought it took forever for her to un-knot that cloth and pull the coins out. 
  • Ruby made incredible sorghum cookies that were the size of saucers. When her grandchildren were older they would often make special trips with their friends to Ruby's house to see if, by chance, she had made any sorghum cookies recently. During the holiday season, Ruby, who was always clad in an apron, would decorate these cookies with colored sugars and cut them into fun shapes.
  • Ruby had a couple sayings that still make us laugh today. If someone didn't meet her definition of an upstanding citizen she would say that they "had the morals of an alley cat". Any time her grandchildren got in trouble she would call them "little pups".
  • To this day, my cousin thinks of Ruby every time she sees a Bit O'Honey. Ruby also like that neapolitan striped coconut candy. 
  • In her later years, my aunt recalls setting up a video camera (cars and telephones were new technology when Ruby was young) to the TV that was off to the side in her room. My uncle sat in front of her holding the camera and talking. She tried to respond to him, but was distracted and more than a little tickled by seeing and hearing herself on the TV. It was  a fairly new technology at the time and it must have been amazing to see.
  • Ruby kept an interesting calendar. Evey day she would write the weather, temperature, visitors, and major events in the daily squares. Sadly, it is believed that not of these calendars still exist. 

Ruby's Life:
According to Ruby's obituary, she was born May 8, 1895 in Richland County, Wisconsin to John and Estella (Haskins) Dyer. I have been able to verify through land records that her parents were living in Richwood Township, Richland Co., Wisconsin during this time period.


1900: The first record I have found of Ruby's existence is in the 1900 US Census for Richwood Township, Richland Co., Wisconsin. In this Census, 4 year old Ruby is living with her parents, John and Estella, and is the middle child of 5 siblings: William, Glen, Ruby, May, and June.


1905 Wisconsin State Census: We find a 10 year old Ruby living in a house with her parents, John F. and Estella, on their farm in Richwood Township, Richland Co., Wisconsin. The family expanded since the last census, adding 2 children, Roland (4) and Dolly (1), to the 5 children previously listed in the 1900 US Census.


1910: In the 1910 United States Federal Census we discover that the family continued to expand, this time adding children Artist (5) and Estel (3). The family is still living and farming in Richwood Township, Richland Co., Wisconsin.
1915: According to Ruby's obituary, on August 11, 1915 Ruby M. Dyer married Charles Francis Miller in McGregor, Iowa. The photo above was taken on their wedding day. My maternal Grandmother displayed this photo for years in her house. I always liked it, but only recently learned that it was their wedding photo.


1920: The 1920 Unites States Federal Census is the first record I have been able to find that shows Ruby as a married woman. She is listed with her husband, Charles, in Scott Township, Crawford Co., Wisconsin. Having grown up in this area, I know that Scott Township is only a few miles from where Ruby's parents were living in Richwood Township. Charles and Ruby have two children in this Census, Verlin (3) and Genevieve (2).


1930: Charles and Ruby moved between the 1920 and 1930 US Censuses. In the 1930 United States Federal Census we find them living in Clyde Township, Iowa Co., Wisconsin. During this time, Ruby became pregnant two more times. The first pregnancy resulted in twins Bernard and Byron, and the second, daughter Audrey.


1990: Ruby died in 1990 at the Boscobel Memorial Nursing Home. She was a member of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints and was a homemake throughout her life.


Ruby and her husband Charles, share a headstone in Haskins Cemetery, Richland County, Wisconsin.

Family and Friends, please leave any memories you have of Grandma Ruby in the comment section below. This way, we call all enjoy them together.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Maternal Great-Grandmother's


My Maternal Great-Grandmothers
Esther Marie & Ruby Merle

Esther Marie (Tyler) Lindley
Born 31 Mar 1907 in Richland Center, Richland, Wisconsin
Married Ernest E. Lindley on 20 Nov 1924 in Richland Center, Richland, Wisconsin
Died 7 March 1974 in Boscobel, Grant, Wisconsin

Ruby Merle (Dyer) Miller
Born 8 May 1895 in Wisconsin
Married Charles Francis Miller on 11 Aug 1915 in McGregor, Iowa
Died 5 Jan 1990 in Boscobel, Grant, Wisconsin

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1919 Homestead of Johnie F. Dyer




John Franklin Dyer, is my great-great grandfather and he lived in Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin for the majority of his life. He was born to William Samuel Dyer and Barbara Ann Hinton on 27 Aug 1868.

The story of this homestead begins with Johnie F.'s father, William. The plat map from 1895 indicates that these sections of land are owned by William, who acquired the land when Johnie F. was a child. In 1890, Johnie F. married Estella Haskins. By the 1905 Wisconsin State Census, they are listed as owning the land.

The 1919 plat map, shown above, indicates that a small piece of the land was sold and they acquired an equally sized piece that aligned better with their property. From the 1920 US Census we know that Johnie F.  and his wife Estella still had a mortgage on the farm and were actively farming the land.


Plat information: 1860-1949 plat maps from Richland County, Wisconsin

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Esther Lomas


Esther Lomas

Born 14 Jul 1817 in England, United Kingdom
Arrived in America in around 1845
Died 27 Dec 1886 in Grant Co., Wisconsin, USA

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Winter on the Farm


Another photo of the farm my parents had when I was born. The picture is taken from where the house sat. The original house burnt down in 1982. We moved to town and my parents stopped farming shortly after. Photo date unknown.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Where did Hans J. Hanson live?

With no real plans for the day I was sorting through the favorites I had bookmarked on my Twitter account. I happened across a saved tweet from WI Heritage that linked to some early pictures of Richland County, Wisconsin. My Miller, Lindley, Tyler, and Hanson lines all have roots in Richland County, so I thought it would be worth a look. As far as I could tell, my ancestors weren't featured in any of the photos, but after a couple clicks I was staring at Richland County plat maps from the 1800's.

I was immediately drawn to the 1880 plat map of Akan Township because 1880 is the year I was able to find proof that Hans J. Hanson and his family were living in America. I knew from the 1900 U.S. and 1905 Wisconsin State Census' that my Hans J. Hanson was a farmer and owned land in Akan. The map isn't indexed so I sorted through each square looking for Hanson's. I knew it might be difficult to find my specific Hans Hanson as I knew their was at least one other Hans Hanson listed as a neighbor of my Hans Hanson in several of the late-1800 U.S. Census Records. Even with this against me, I was still able to locate two Hans Hanson's, one in Section 27 and one in 35. The one in Section 27 even said "H.J.Hanson"!


I wanted to make sure I could confirm or eliminate one either the Section 27 or 35 Hans Hanson. I don't have any land records or wills, but I have several Census records and started with them.  I sorted through the neighbors of my Hans J Hanson and noticed the same names coming up over and over again, but none in a particular order or location. (I've always wondered what path the census workers took.)  Finally, I logged onto Ancestry.com and pulled up the 1880 U.S. Census (and others) and started going through additional pages until I found the other Hans Hanson. It turns out that the other Hans Hanson (who's wife was Mary) who had the same neighbors as the Hans Hanson in Section 35, which most likely means mine is really is the Hans J. Hanson in Section 27!

I took the time to compare this old 1880's plat map with a map of today and am pretty confident I know where this is located.  We have driven on the roads around this property and drive by the land when we pay our respects to the final resting place of Hans J and his wife, Antonette. Both are buried a couple sections south in Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin.  I even wrote a blog post about visiting them once.

I can't wait to share this information with my family. Especially those who have taken the time to drive out to visit the graves of Hans and Antonette! I wish I had a trip planned to Wisconsin soon so I could see the land in person. I love adding chapters to this story.