Monday, February 18, 2019

52 Ancestors: Love

It’s been a long two weeks of snow and every technical difficulty imaginable (phone, internet, and cell outages) which makes me late but I am finally taking an opportunity to get in a blog post before the tehnical world goes haywire again.

This week’s blog prompt, in honor of Valentine’s Day, was Love.  I feel like I’ve seen some old Valentine’s Day cards but as I looked for them, I found a few other things that brought a smile to my face – handmade cards from a young girl (me!) to my grandmother, Clara (Fitzgerald) Martin Hunter.  And as a bonus, I found a sweet photo of me with my grandmother.  Being the second child, most of my photos have big sister in them – not that I don’t love seeing the two of us together but once in awhile it’s fun to have just me.  Sorry, sis!

Debi Levy and Clara (Fitzgerald) Hunter
approximately 1957

The first handmade card I made was hard to read since it was in crayon.  But still fun to see the words I sent to my grandmother.  Because it is printed rather than cursive, I’m guessing I was about 7 or so when I sent this.


Dear Grandmother,
Sweet Grandmother.  I love you so true.  I'm sure
there's no other Dear Grandmother
Like you



And then I graduated to cursive writing, which I remember learning in 3rd grade which would have made me 8 or 9.  But this cursive looks pretty good so maybe 10 years old or so?  Being that I was born in the 50’s when Debbie Reynolds was popular, Debbie was a VERY common name for the girls my age.  In fact, in about 7th grade or so many of us changed the spelling of our name so that at least people could determine which Debbie/Debi/Debby/Debbi people were writing about.





As you might remember, my grandmother and her husband, Shell Hunter, owned a chicken ranch and we LOVED to visit them and help out with the eggs.  I wonder if I had dropped an egg when we visited which prompted me to send this card.  I loved how Grandma told me “its alright”.

Such wonderful memories of a very loving grandmother.  And it just makes me smile and feel her love to know that she held on to these cards for the rest of her life.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

52 Ancestors: Surprise

I’ve had a lot of surprises as I’ve researched my family – unmarked graves, spouses I never knew about, the strong connection I have to the Jewish pioneers in Santa Cruz and Fresno, and other tidbits along the way.  But one surprise I can’t stop thinking about is the possible connection I have to Grace Barnet, my great grandmother’s (Birdie Schwartz Gunzendorfer’s) friend during her early years, and maybe beyond.

Grace Barnet

I first learned of Grace when I read the names of the graduating class of Santa Cruz High School in 1890.

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 7 June 1900, page 3



There’s my great grandmother, her cousin Bella Steen, and Grace Barnet.









And then I found a photo of this graduating class but I could only identify Birdie, Bella, and Henry Wanzer, since he was the only boy in the class.

1890 Graduating Class, Santa Cruz High School

I’ve since determined that Grace Barnet was standing immediately to Birdie’s right - Birdie on the far right and Grace just next to her.  So now I’m able to identify four out of the nine graduates. 

I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching Grace and have found some interesting facts.

In 1860 the Jewish community numbered only 15 Jews (total population of 950) in Santa Cruz.  So not too surprising to “know” most of the names.  Joseph and Hannah (Plotzky) Steen were there with my 2x great grandmother, Rebecca.  Next door was Rebecca’s future husband, Louis Schwartz.  And next door to Louis was Samuel Barnet, his wife Rose, and son Zacharias.  Of course Birdie and Grace weren’t born yet but these families must have been friends at least as early as 1860.  The only other Jewish family at the time were the three Brownstone brothers, Isaac, David, and Jacob.

Grace was also a bridesmaid in Birdie’s marriage to Abraham Gunzendorfer 9 September 1894.  So four years after graduation, the girls remained close.  I love learning about the friends of my ancestors so over the years I’ve done a bit of research about Grace to see what else I could find.  I looked at an Ancestry tree and decided I’d contact the individual who put the tree together to see if he/she could help me when to my SURPRISE I found that individual, P.S., on my list of DNA matches!  What?  Were Grace and Birdie not only friends but actually related? 

I have connected with the owner of the tree and I’m no farther along than I was before.  He is related through his great-grandfather, Jacob, whose sister was married to Grace’s brother, Emanuel.  But try as I might, I just can’t seem to connect the dots.  I have found some interesting clues – somewhere in Jacob’s line is E. Fleischer.  Okay, not so amazing except that Grace’s sister was married to Marks Fleisher.  Coincidence?  Or how about the fact that the surnames on this DNA match’s include Frankel – my great grandmother on my Gunzendorfer side was the daughter of Sarah (Frankel) Goldstein.  Another coincidence?

I’ve also connected with another descendant.  Actually, the Barnet connection goes through his deceased wife who was the granddaughter of Rachel (Barnet) and Marks Fleisher.  But that connection has sort of petered out and I need to get back in touch with him and/or his children (cousins?). 

And that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  Except to learn some facts about Grace’s death on 19 July 1937, just 3 days after the death of her brother, Herman Barnet.  Did Birdie know?  Did she attend either of the funerals?  WERE THEY RELATED???

Santa Cruz Evening News
20 July 1937, page 2


Santa Cruz Sentinel
24 July 1937, page 3

Grace is buried in the Barnet Family Plot at Home of Peace Cemetery in Santa Cruz.


Photos courtesy of Tombstone Finder, Find A Grave

So many surprises yet to find - hope I can make it happen!








Sunday, February 3, 2019

52 Ancestors: I’d Like to Meet

I’m a little behind with 52 Ancestors but I can’t let this prompt go by as I’ve often thought about all of the ancestors I’d like to meet.  One that sticks in mind isn’t even a ‘blood’ ancestor but only by marriage.

For those who have followed my blog for awhile, you probably remember that one of my favorite ancestors is Emery Waller, my maternal 3x great grandfather.  I won’t bore you with all of the details (again!) of his life, finding him in an unmarked grave, ultimately having his grave marked, and being interviewed for the local newspaper about my journey.  It was quite a ride.

Emery’s first wife was Rebecca Parker, whom I wrote about HERE.  Rebecca and Emery married in 1833 and had four daughters – Mary Ann (b. 1833), Caroline (b. 1838), Sarah (b. 1842), and my 2x great grandmother, Rebecca Moriah (b. 1845).  It is very likely that Mom Rebecca died after giving birth to her 4th daughter, Rebecca.

Which left Emery alone raising four daughters and just five months later, on 23 July 1845 in Warren County, Ohio, Emery married Clarinda.  And it’s Clarinda whom I’d like to meet as I have so many questions I’d like to ask her and to thank her for caring for my 2x great grandmother as if she were her own.

Clarinda was born 1 November 1822 in Ohio.  Of course, I’m struggling to find the source of that as I kept very poor records in the beginning (it’s still not my strong suit).  Try as I might, I have been unable to find anything about her parents or even confirmation as to what her last name was.  When Clarinda and Emery married, her last name was Meeker but I’m wondering if that was a married name.  I have found records for a Clarinda Wilson marriage to Jonas Meeker on 31 January, 1839 and then Jonas dying later that year.  Which would have put Clarinda “on the market” in 1845.  But I can’t be sure if Clarinda Wilson is “my” Clarinda.

In 1850, Clarinda and Emery were living in Clinton, Illinois with Sarah, Rebecca, and their two daughters Elizabeth and Hannah who were just 3 and 2 years old.  Mary Ann and Caroline were living nearby with Emery’s parents, Solomon/Salmon and Amelia, and Amelia’s mother, Elizabeth Steel.

By 1860, Clarinda and Emery had moved to Santa Ana, Illinois and there is no sign of Sarah.  In the household are Rebecca, Elizabeth, Nancy/Hannah, and two more children, George and Minnie.

1870 found the family in Farmer City, Illinois but the only two children at home were George and Minnie.  And in 1880, George was on his own and Minnie was with Emery and Clarinda, along with her husband James Jones and daughter Leafy Jones.

What would I say to Clarinda? 

First and foremost – where were you before you married Emery in 1845?  Who were your parents?  That would help me put together many of the puzzle pieces.

How did you and Emery meet?  Were you neighbors?  Did you know his first wife, and my 3x great grandmother, Rebecca?  What was she like?

What was it like to marry a man and instantly become a mother to four little girls?  And then to give birth to five more children, with four of those living into adulthood, before your husband left to fight in the Civil War?  How did you cope all those months alone?  And then your husband returned from the war suffering from disabilities the rest of his life? 

I did learn that you moved with Emery to Kansas after 1880.  Why did you move?

And then found that on or about 27 November 1885, Emery went to reside in Ness City for a year while you stayed behind in Newton for treatment.  Why did Emery leave? 


McPherson Freeman, 27 Nov 1885, Fri, page 3


But then, just three days later, on 30 November, 1885 you succumbed to ‘something like cancer’ after telling your husband that you were improving.  Had the two of you had an argument which caused him to leave?  Did you know the end was near and were trying to spare him the pain of watching you die?

McPherson Freeman, 4 Dec 1885, Fri, page 3


You, my step 3rd great grandmother, were an important part of my life even though we were not ‘blood’ (as my family likes to say).  It’s proof that you don’t have to be blood to be a mother.

Clarinda is buried in McPherson Cemetery, McPherson Kansas next to Emery who died 5 years later.

Clarinda
wife of E.L. Waller
November 30, 1885
Aged
62 years

The pains of death are past
Labor and sorrow cease
And life's long warfare closed at last
Her soul rests in peace



Sunday, January 20, 2019

52 Ancestors: Unusual Name

I have quite a few unusual names in my tree which made it difficult to pick just one.  But I decided to focus on my 6x great grandfather, Phineas Waller.  Not only is the name unusual but I've seen it spelled different ways - Phinneas, Phinehas and Phinias.  But the majority of the time it is Phineas so I'll go with that.

Per Connecticut Town Birth Records pre 1870 (the Barber Collection), Phineas Waller, the son of Abigail (Magoon) and Joseph Waller, was born in Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut on 31 October 1717.  And the Connecticut Church Record Abstracts, Vol. 131, states that Phinehas, s. Joseph, was baptised on 3 November 1717.

Of course there weren't census records that far back so it's a bit difficult to trace him, but I have found quite a bit of information for him.  Years ago I contacted the Cornwall Historical Society and was provided with a lot of information that, sadly, went into a box until I pulled it out today.  Here's a sample:

Cornwall and its Antient [sic] Settlers by Timothy Stone


Wait - WHAT?  "on the hill bearing his name"?  Yep, that's right - Waller Hill is an actual 'place' in Cornwall, Connecticut and is named for MY Waller family.  It's a little hard to see below but in the shaded area is Waller Hill and Waller Hill Road.








































I learned some interesting facts about Phineas from Cornwall and its Antient Settlers

In Table A, the List of the Polls and Rateable Property of the Town 1742, the listers were Jonathan Squire, Nathaniel Green, and Samuel Messenger - would that be the individuals who created the list?  No matter, Phineas was listed along with "1 head, 1 ox, 1 horse".  Huh?  And at the bottom it showed the totals: 1433 lbs, 45 persons, 52 polls, 41 oxen, 21 swine, 43 horses, 52 cows, 9 young cattle.  Okay, I think I've got it - 45 persons are listed on the List and 52 "heads" which could be the number of people?

Table B, The List of the Polls and Rateable Property of the Town, 1744 shows Phineas with 1 head and 1 horse.  What happened to his ox?

Table C, The List of the Polls and Rateable Property of the Town, 1745 shows no sign of Phineas.  But the footnote states:  "The omission of Benjamin Dibble and Phineas Waller from this list is unexplained, unless inadvertent.  They appear in earlier and later files.

And sure enough, Table D, The List of the Polls and Rateable Property of the Town, 1748 now includes Phineas with the numbers beside his name 31-0-0.  I have no idea what that means.

Another fun fact about Phineas is that he, along with Jonathan Harris, were the first deacons of Cornwall Church/First Church of Christ.  

I was also provided with the Town Meeting Minutes, 1740-1875, transcription and notes by Michael R. Gannett.  Here I found several references to Phineas.

October 12, 1743That Israel Moss should be Surveyor of Highways for the year ensuing, that Phineas Waller should be another, that John Griffis should be a third, that Jonathan Squier should be a fourth.

December 11, 1749That Phineas Waller and Isaac Moss should be Tithingmen for the year ensuing.  I found the definition of Tithingmen to be an elected local official having the functions of  a peace officer in various American Colonies (as in New England and Maryland).  

December 12, 1747Item, that Capt. Amos Johnson, Deac. Phineas Waller, Samuel Abbott should be a committee to take care of ye Parsonage & School Money belonging to ye Town of Cornwall for ye year ensuing.

September 18, 1759Voted that the pews in the Meeting House should be seated, & that at the discretion of the following person chosen a committee for sd purpose, viz., Deac. Phineas Waller, Reuben Squir, Lieut. Joshua Pierce, Capt. John Jeffery, Deac. Samuel Abbit, Sergt. John Dibble Esq., John Patterson.

December 11, 1759Voted School Committee for ye northwest women's school Reuben Squire, Phineas Waller, Phineas Spaulding.

June 12, 1780At a Special Town Meeting legally warned and holden at the Meeting House in the Town of Cornwall on the 12th day of June A.D. 1780, Mr. Phineas Waller was chosen Moderator of said meeting.

So I know that Phineas stayed in Cornwall until his death on 25 June 1787 in Cornwall.  One day I hope to find his burial site.

Thanks to the Cornwall Historical Society for providing so much information about my 6x great grandfather, Phineas Waller.








Sunday, January 13, 2019

52 Ancestors: Challenge

This week’s blog prompt was, well, um……a challenge.

I have lots of challenges with brick wall ancestors, folks who either just showed up or left never to be heard from again, and documenting my ancestry to Ashbel Waller, my Revolutionary War patriot, so that I can join Daughters of the American Revolution.  But today I put all those challenges aside so that I could focus on the unidentified photos I have that were taken by my Great Grandfather, Abraham Gunzendorfer.

I don’t really know for sure if Abe was a “true” professional photographer but I do know that he at least dabbled in it and I have many, many photos to prove it.  I have a box of photos with this on the back.




While it is very cool to have these photos, it really makes it a challenge because I can’t be sure if the people or places are important to my family or just a photo that Abe took and hung on to.

This is, apparently, one of his first photos because he did me a favor and wrote on the back.  Why, why, WHY didn’t people identify the subject by labeling it.  Yes, I know that probably 80% of my photos are blank on the back – I guess I figured I’d never forget which kid is which but as the years go by, I find myself questioning my memory.






Thanks, Abe.  And not only did you tell me that it was your first photograph, I’m extremely happy to have confirmation that you were the Gunzendorfer son who dabbled in photography.

What is the significance of this?  Just an interesting ship or was someone important to you on this ship?



There are many photos of parades and presidential visits – I shared the story of Abe photographing President McKinley’s visit to Monterey in 1901 HERE.  And here’s a parade which I’m guessing is down Alvarado Street, one of the major streets in Monterey at the time.  I can’t be sure but I believe The White House, the Gunzendorfer family mercantile, might be the building just to the left of the Del Monte Drug store.


Speaking of Del Monte, Abe has a few photos of the Hotel Del Monte.  This hotel was established in 1880 and was one of the finest luxury hotels in the country.  During World War II the hotel closed and was leased to the Navy.  It first served as a school for enlisted men and later became the Naval Postgraduate School of the United States Navy.  It is now known as Hermann Hall and functions as administrative offices and hotel for the school.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Del_Monte



Wonder what and where this is?



Could this be the street in Monterey Abe and Bertha lived on?  Or just a beautiful street somewhere in America?



Who are these people?  And did they really just drink all that?



Or these nice young women – who are you?




Or this – should I know this young man?


Wait, wait, wait just a minute.  Could this be Milton Harry Schwartz, Birdie Schwartz Gunzendorfer’s brother?




Miton Harry Schwartz, 28 February 1894

And then as I looked further in the box, I found this.  And on the back it said “M.H. Schwartz, photographer”.  So Milton was a photographer, too?  And this is the same guy, right?  Oh geez, things just got more challenging.




Finally, Abe gave me a clue – check out this photo from 1898.  I’ve seen that dog before and now I know these gents are Jacob W. Gunzendorfer, Abe’s younger brother, and Abe. 




While I love having all of these photos, I wish I didn’t have the challenge of identifying all of the people and places.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

52 Ancestors: First

I’m so happy to have another year of blog prompts from Amy Johnson Crow.  The good news is that these prompts get my juices flowing – the bad news is that each week gives me more questions and additions to my “to do” list.

This week’s prompt is First.  I reflected on this for a few days – who was the first ancestor I researched?  Whose was the first grave I saw?  Who was the first….. And then it came to me – which of my ancestors were listed in the First United States Census in 1790?

Without looking I knew that of my direct ancestors, one would be Ashbel Waller, my 5x great grandfather.  My maternal ancestors go back a LONG way in the United States while my paternal ancestors didn’t arrive until the mid 1800’s.  So I could skip that side of the family and focus on my maternal side.

First, I wanted to learn more about the first census, which had an official enumeration date of 2 August 1790.  That census showed a population of 3,929,214 in, of course, 13 states.  The cost of the census ws $44,000 or a cost per capita of 1.1 cents.  There were 56 pages with the data from an estimated 650 enumerators.  All of this was directed by the Census Bureau Director, Thomas Jefferson.  1790 Census Fast Facts

Sure enough, there was Ashbel in Luzerne, Pennsylvania – along with his brothers Daniel, Joseph, and Nathan.

1790 Census
First Census of the United States, 1790 (NARA microfilm publication M637, 12 rolls).

There it shows that there were five household members – 1 Free White Male, 16 and over, 2 Free White Males, under 16, and 2 Free White Females.  So the one white male over 16 would be Ashbel, the two white males under 16 would be Salmon (my 4x great grandfather!), and, and, and…. who?  I can only guess at the females in the house – wife Sarah (Abbot) Waller and a daughter.  But I’m not 100% sure of the birth dates for the children so will need to do more research to be sure.  Add it to my “to do” list.

I know that Ashbel’s father, Phineas, died in 1787 so he wouldn’t be there.  And I don’t know when his mother died but since she was born in 1717, it’s very probable that she was also dead.  Add it to my “to do” list.

Here’s how I descend from Ashbel – Clara Fitzgerald was my mother’s mother.

Relationship_ Deborah Ann Levy to Ashbel Waller

Next up was another branch of my tree, my mother’s paternal side of the family.  And there is my 4x great grandfather, Daniel Martin. 


1790 Census Daniel Martin cropped
Year: 1790; Census Place: Laurens, South Carolina; Series: M637; Roll: 11; Page: 448; Image: 267; Family History Library Film: 0568151

He is listed with three Free White Males, 16 and over; 4 Free White Males, under 16; and 4 Free White Females.  My guess is that along with Daniel, the other two white males age 16 and over were two sons.  The 4 white males under 16 could have been other sons, although I don’t have too much information on them.  And I only know of two females – wife Mary (Saxon) and daughter Mary.  Add that to my “to do” list.

Daniel’s parents were dead by 1790 and my 3x great grandfather, George Asbury Martin, was not born until 1798 so it looks like it was just Daniel enumerated in 1790.

And here’s how I descend from Daniel.  Earle Martin was my mother’s father.

Relationship_ Deborah Ann Levy to Daniel Martin

I think that’s all I’ve got unless I go into siblings and their children.  Something I will not add to my “to do” list.  Yet.


Monday, December 31, 2018

Top 10 Genealogical Finds of 2018



Photo by Pierce Place

It’s been a quiet year here at Who Knew? central, but I’ve managed to tuck away a few discoveries.  I participated in the 52 Ancestors Challenge, which sure helped by providing blog prompts and I’m looking forward to participating again in 2019.  Also, putting this post together reminds me of so many things I’ve started and need to get back to.

As 2018 winds down, I’d like to step back and reflect on what I’ve learned over the past year.  So in my best David Letterman voice, I bring you my annual Top 10 genealogical finds of 2018.  You can read my previous years’ discoveries here. 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012.5 2012 2011

Number 10:  In 2014, I wrote about the home in Santa Cruz that was built for my 2x great grandfather, Louis Schwartz.  Based on the timing of some of the facts I’ve learned, I’m fairly certain that not only was my great grandmother, Birdie Schwartz, born in that house but also my grandmother, Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer.  So a pretty special house to me.

Imagine my surprise when I received a message via newspapers.com this year from a historian in Santa Cruz who noticed I’d clipped quite a few clippings about Louis Schwartz and the family.  Turns out she had an acquaintance who was hoping to buy the home, which they did, and she was going to research the history and started with me.  We’ve had some e-mails back and forth and this post has reminded me to get back to corresponding with her to see what she’s found.

If you’re interested in seeing the listing (and the inside of the house), you can view it here SCHWARTZ HOUSE LISTING.  One of  my photos of the family in front of the home is even in the listing!

Schwartz House
That’s Birdie on the left and Louis Schwartz standing behind the fence on the right.


Number 9:  Last year’s #1 genealogical find was the publishing of a book I had the honor of contributing to and which referenced many of my ‘peeps’ in Santa Cruz.


How exciting to know that George is now working on a walking tour and history of the Jewish Cemetery in Santa Cruz, Home of Peace.  I’m anxious to see the finished product and, hopefully, find some of my ancestors interred there.


Number 8:  The blog prompts this year encouraged me to write about ancestors I hadn’t spent much time with.  One of those ancestors was Colman Schwartz, the youngest brother (and sibling) of my great grandmother, Birdie Schwartz.  As part of that research, I even learned what a monologist was as Colman practiced the art.  How sad that he died at just 36 years old.


Number 7:  Another blog prompt had me researching my grandmother’s cousin, Mervyn Gunzendorfer.  I knew that Mervyn and my grandmother’s brother, Wilton, were the last of the Gunzendorfer line and it was nice to learn a little more about Mervyn.


Number 6:  I don’t know a lot about my maternal grandfather, Earle Martin, as he and my grandmother divorced when my mother was about 10 and he really wasn’t a part of her (or our) life after that.  He is still a bit of a mystery to me so as part of the Father’s Day prompt, I did some research and found some new information.  I also briefly connected again with Earle’s youngest child.  I’d sure love to learn more about Earle and that part of the family.


Number 5:  Since my mother was an only child (other than half siblings whom we never knew) and my dad had only one brother, the ‘maiden aunt’ prompt looked to be difficult for me.  However, it was then that I remembered the Stubblefield sisters who lived next door to my grandparents for many years.  Since neither of them ever married or had children, it was a nice to remember them.  Maybe, just maybe, there is a descendant of some sort who has been looking for them.

My beautiful picture
I think this is Ethel and Gertrude with my grandmother (on the right)


Number 4:  The ‘Going to the chapel’ prompt was the perfect opportunity for me to research my maternal grandmother, Clara Fitzgerald, and her marriage to the man I knew as Grandpa, Sheldon Hunter.  They owned a chicken ranch as we were growing up and I have such wonderful memories of spending time at the ranch.  Not just chickens but so many warm Fresno afternoons listening to Grandma’s beloved San Francisco Giants.

Clara_Shell 1974
The last photo I have of the two of them – my wedding day March 9, 1974


Number 3:  When the Cause of Death’ prompt appeared, I ventured outside of my own family and did some research on my husband’s 2x great grandmother, Julia O’Reilly Gorham Post.  Was she murdered?  Or did she accidentally fall on that darned hatchet?  Who knew?


Number 2:  I’ll take any opportunity to write about my 3x great grandfather, Emery Waller.  For those of you who have followed along for most of my ‘blogging life’, you’ll remember he was the ancestor I found in an unmarked grave and was able to mark the grave so he will never be forgotten.  You can read about my quest HERE. 
When thinking about the Conflict’ prompt, my first thought was a conflict between family members.  While I have a few of those, I took the opportunity to write about Emery’s military service during the Civil War.  Out came the pension record again and I was able to learn even more about this man.


Number 1:   This could be my Number 1 genealogical find every year – COUSINS! 

In early December I learned that my 2nd cousin had recently passed away.  His grandfather, Herb Levy, was my grandfather’s oldest brother.  While I had not connected with this cousin over the course of my journey, I had connected with his brother, Bob, so I sent him an e-mail expressing my condolences.  It turns out that Bob shared some family information with his two nieces and, thus, we have now connected and will be sharing (I hope) information.  Welcome to the family, my two new 2nd cousins, 1x removed!

And then right before Christmas, I took a peek at my DNA results and noticed a new match from my Guzendorfer line.  Since this family is so small, I’m always excited at the possibility of meeting a new Gunzendorfer relative – AND I DID!  Her great grandmother, Sarah (Goldstein) Eisner, was the sister of my great grandmother, Fannie (Goldstein) Gunzendorfer.  And while 3rd cousin, 1x removed might seem a bit distant, to prove that the world is very, very small we found quite a few similarities.  We grew up about 1 mile from each other, graduated from the same high school just a few years apart, and attended the same Temple.  How did we not know about each other, even thought our fathers did?  Welcome to my family, C!

It’s always fun to look at the top visited blog posts for the year.  While some made both lists, there were a few that didn’t.  Here’s my top five blog posts for 2018:

#1  Wanted: Herman Levy (not just for the year but ALL TIME)
#2  52 Ancestors: Cause of Death
#3  52 Ancestors: Youngest
#4  52 Ancestors: Thankful
#5  52 Ancestors: Heirloom

And that’s what I’ve been up to in 2018 – thanks for following along with me!