Monday, January 31, 2011

DNA Kit is on its way to a testing lab in L.A.

It's been nearly two months since the arrival of my DNA testing kit from 23andMe. I finally stopped procrastinating, provided my saliva sample and sent it off in the mail today. Now to sit back and wait.

To follow my DNA testing journey, you can click here for all posts on this topic.

I also have set up an RSS feed of blog posts of note from all of the DNA buddies. You can read or subscribe to the feed here.

To learn more about how 23andMe is providing results for health risks and as a family finder, visit their web site.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Countdown to Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are

The much awaited second season of NBC's celebrity-based genealogy program, Who Do You Think You Are, has finally arrived. This season opens with a look into the ancestry of Vanessa Williams. The show airs this coming Friday, February 4 on NBC.

Watch a sneak-peek below.


Official NBC site

Follow Who Do You Think You Are on Twitter

Tweet with other viewers on Twitter during the broadcast #wdytya

Sunday's Obituary - Margaret Petersen Henthorn

Margaret Petersen Henthorn

Death Takes
Mrs. Henthorn

Mrs. Earl H. (Margaret P.) Henthorn, 43, a Centralia resident, died Tuesday in a local hospital. She was born July 28, 1913, in Hardy, Neb. The family home is at 815 West main street.

Survivors, in addition to her husband, are her mother, Mrs. Petersen, Hardy, Neb.; four brothers, E. M. Petersen, Hardy, Neb., Jess Petersen, Lincoln, Neb., and Marvin Petersen and O. M. Petersen, both in Iowa, and three sisters, Mrs. Emma Salyard, Mrs. Joe Wyatt and Mrs. Hubert Henry, all of Hardy, Neb.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Sticklin chapel in Centralia. Rev. Fred T. Lucas will officiate, and interment will be in Greenwood Memorial park.

Source: Daily Chronicle, Centralia, Washington, August 10, 1955.
Relationship to me: grand aunt (sister of my grandfather)

Errors in obituary: Her brother (my grandfather) was O. W. Petersen, not O.M. Petersen. He lived in Lincoln, Nebraska at the time of Margaret's death, not in Iowa.

Sunday Supper - Community Cookbooks Part 6 - Katherine Petersen Henry

Before tossing out any old and worn out community cookbooks, make sure that you look through them for recipes from your relatives! My Dad managed to salvage the 1950 Hardy, Nebraska American Legion Auxiliary Cookbook from my stack of cookbooks I had planned to donate to charity! Thank goodness he looked through them first! This cookbook included not just recipes from my family members, but also photographs of them.


Relationship to me: my grand aunt, sister of my grandfather, Otto Petersen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 5 - Favorite Food

Week 5 Challenge: Favorite Food. What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

I've got to admit, I really struggled with what to write about for this week's challenge. I really couldn't come up with anything really spectacular. I couldn't find my Mom's recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls. I found a couple recipes of my favorite cookies, but those were straight out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. Boring!

Tastee Inn, Lincoln, NE, October, 2008Then it struck me! How could I have forgotten my favorite drive-in restaurant from the 1950s! It's a major dive on North 48th Street in Lincoln, Nebraska called Tastee Inn & Out.

In the late 1950s, my family was living in Greenwood, Nebraska and every Saturday morning, my parents would drive me in to Lincoln where I was taking ballet and tap dance lessons at the Merry Manor School of Childhood. The location is still called Merry Manor, but is now operated as a child care center. I think the directors are sick of hearing me tell how I used to tap dance there!

Anyway, my classes were over about 11 a.m. and that meant that we went down the street to Tastee's for loose meat sandwiches, onion chips (or fries) and strawberry shakes. This made doing all of those dance steps and wearing a leotard and tights worth it! I loved Tastee's!

We always went via the drive-in window. There was a u-shaped drive lined with seven or eight speakers on posts where you gave your order. To this day, I have not figured out how they managed to get the correct order to the right car with all of those speakers.

Saturday Morning Dance Class
Meant Tastee's for Lunch

Whoever designed the layout for this drive-in window clearly assumed that there would be two people in each car. Why? Because the window is on the passenger side of the car! I think this is the only drive-in I've ever seen where the window is not on the driver's side.

Today's sign has the name of the restaurant spelled Tasty instead of Tastee. And it announces "Open Monday." The reason for that explanation is because all of the time that I was growing up in Greenwood and in Lincoln, Tastee's was closed on Monday. It's now open 7 days a week.

What can I say about the food? If you like greasy food, this is the place for you. I really don't know how they get their ground meat to be ground so fine. There's a great blend of spices and these are not Sloppy Joe's - there is no tomato sauce - it's just meat. Now - there have been rumors over the years as to what kind of meat is used, but the truth is that it is beef. The loose meat goes on a small bun with one pickle and a very small amount of mustard. I've got to add a little more mustard. The onion chips are to die for, and if you make a habit of it, you probably will. These are not onion rings, but big chunks of onion, coated in batter and deep fried. You've got to order an extra large onion chip dip - the base is cottage cheese (recipe below).

Tastee Inn, Lincoln, NE, October, 2008

What I remember from my childhood:

  • The drink cups stated "Tastee's - Always two good meals for less than a dollar"
  • You could order a Tube of Tastee's - a round cardboard cylinder that held six sandwiches.
What's changed in 50 years:
  • Not much. They've added a bump-out "sun room" to the indoor eating area.
  • There's only one speaker where you place your order.
  • It is still the same dive that it was 50 (actually, 60) years ago.
  • If you do a search for Tastee's on the Journal Star web site, you get quite a few hits on violations from the county health department. My friends are shocked that I still eat there, given my phobia about food safety and sanitation. I figure if they haven't killed me in 50 years, I've built up my immune system.
Do I still eat Tastee's? You bet. In fact, I got carry out for my Dad and me only a few nights ago. But the two good meals now cost $17.59. And it's not as easy to crawl over a bucket seat to get in the passenger side to pay and get the food. Unlike many other local eateries, the food has not changed one bit over the years. It is exactly the same. And I've got to get my Tastee fix about once every six weeks.

Visit Tastee's on Facebook

Tastee's Onion Chip Dip

¼ cup buttermilk
16 ounces of cottage cheese, large curd
16 ounces of sour cream
5 grinds of black pepper
Dash of red pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of accent
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon onion salt
½ envelope onion soup mix
Beat the buttermilk and cottage cheese together.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well; a food processor works best, and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight

Related article: A Time Machine: Lincoln's Tastee's Inn and Out

Photos are shared via Noncommercial, Share Alike license on Flickr. Photos from Maggie Osterberg's photostream.

About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy has created a third year of blogging prompts for genealogy bloggers. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Space Shuttle Challenger - My Personal Involvement

The Geneabloggers community often takes time to share our personal reflections on national events that had an impact in our lives. On this 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle tragedy, I have very personal recollections. . .

The launch of the Challenger space shuttle with teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe was an event I had been anticipating for more than a year. I was actively involved in the process used to select the teacher who would eventually go on the space mission.

As part of my job at the state education department in Nebraska, I was the coordinator of the state's Teacher of the Year program and oversaw the work of the committee that selected the Nebraska Teacher of the Year. When the NASA Teacher in Space project was announced, I was tapped to head the selection process in Nebraska and my statewide committee of distinguished educators and community members would be embarking on our own mission with the hopes that a Nebraska teacher would be the first teacher-astronaut.

We received the blank application forms and distributed them to the practicing teachers who were interested in applying to be the NASA Teacher in Space. It was a very short application form compared to what my committee usually reviewed for the Teacher of the Year. I think the applications were only about two pages long. In that brief amount of space, the applicants had to share information about their experience, but more importantly, why we should chose them to be the Teacher in Space.

Selecting a private citizen to train as a astronaut was big news. The day the program was first announced, I was interviewed by the local media. I tried to sound as coherent as possible but I was uncomfortable speaking on television with the shiny braces that were recently placed on my crooked teeth.

I don't recall how many applications were submitted, but there were a lot. Over the coming months, the committee narrowed down its selection to a field of seven fantastic Nebraska teachers, any one of whom would have done a wonderful job. The task we had been assigned from the national Teacher in Space project was to have two nominees to represent the state of Nebraska.

We played the publicity card right down to the wire. I scheduled a press conference that would announce the two Nebraska finalists on the day that the selection committee interviewed the finalists in person. This was a scheduling nightmare as we had to keep the interviews on schedule, have enough time for the committee to deliberate and make its selection in time for the Commissioner of Education to make the announcement at the press conference. To say that everyone's adrenalin was running high that day would be an understatement.

Our seven finalists posed for photographs and it was easy to make the connection to the seven original Mercury astronauts I remembered from my childhood. Press from the Omaha and Lincoln television stations were on hand, as were print and radio media. The Commissioner made the announcement. The two teachers selected to represent Nebraska were Jim Schaffer of Lincoln and Roger Rea of Omaha.

Jim and Roger went to Washington DC in the next step in the selection process. I recall that Jim had gone to Florida for the launch, but it was delayed and he returned to Lincoln. I think I had an invitation to witness the launch, but since it would have been on my own time and dime, I didn't make plans to go. I think that the postcard Jim sent me from Florida is still in my desk drawer.

Launch day finally arrived. Television sets were on throughout the education department. We saw this terrible tragedy play out before our eyes. After realizing what happened, my professional side kicked in and I raced back to my office to prepare an official statement for the Commissioner. It wasn't long until I was responding to press interviews - all looking for the local angle. Jim and Roger were interviewed by local media. I was not able to spend much of my day viewing that tragic television image when the Challenger turned into white billowing smoke against the blue sky. Instead, I had to do press.

When I finally got home that evening, I turned on the ABC News with Peter Jennings and watched the explosion, over and over again - much the way I kept watching airplanes fly into buildings a decade and a half later. Just seconds after I turned on the television news, the tears were finally allowed to flow. I'd had to keep my emotions in check all day long, not allowing them to interfere with what I had to do. And once the tears began, they didn't stop for hours. I ached for Christa's family, her students, the thousands of teachers who had applied to have a seat on that shuttle, the people involved in the selection process. And then the guilt sunk in - thinking that one of the exceptional Nebraska teachers we had selected could have been on that flight. I grieved for the heroes we lost that day for a very long time. I grieved that a project that had been a huge part of my work life for the better part of a year ended with such a tragedy.

January 28, 1986 remains the most difficult day of my professional life. I still don't know how I got through the media phone calls and interviews. I definitely took this tragedy very personally.

Both Jim and Roger continued to have outstanding careers in education and Roger was selected Nebraska Teacher of the Year in 1989. Roger is retired and lives in Omaha. Jim now teaches journalism at Nebraska Wesleyan University. They are good men and good teachers. I'm very proud to have known them and gone through the Teacher in Space project with them.

Related articles:

Teacher in Space finalist acquires loads of space lore (originally published July 20, 1985)

Jim Schaffer in top 100 of 14,000 applicants

Lincoln Teacher Could Have Been on the Challenger

Roger Rea recalls the Teacher in Space project

To read what other bloggers have written about the Challenger tragedy, click here.

Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere - January 28

Here are my picks for the best of the genealogy blogs from the past week.

The 52 Weeks Project

First of all, I am in love with the 2011 blog writing prompts sponsored by Geneabloggers and created by Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy. This year's theme is 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History. Not only have I enjoyed reading the contributions and reminiscences of other genealogy bloggers, I have been wrapped up in the challenge to compose my own posts on the weekly topic. This project has resulted in me expanding my blog reading to several blogs that focus on writing personal histories. It never really occurred to me that there is need/market among non-celebrities to use a professional writer to help them compose their own written history. What I am learning from those blogs has opened up all new vistas about how to use that process to aid in writing the personal stories of my ancestors. The prompts provided by Amy have allowed all of us to reach back into our past and pull out those memories from an earlier time or place. You can follow everyone's posts in the 52 Weeks project by subscribing to this RSS feed.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I enjoy some of the reality shows on the History channel (Pawn Stars, American Pickers), so I was glad to see Julie Cahill Tarr's comments about how we really can learn from this type of programming. She discusses this on the GenBlog.

Not sure what to put in your tool kit for your genealogy research trip? Check out what Joan Miller has to say on Luxegen Genealogy.

Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist offers a challenge: Write Your Family History in 28 Days!

Bloggers who have not read Amy Coffin's article AND the comments about using the Comments feature on your blog - well, this is a Must Read. Many experienced bloggers learned some tricks and experienced an Ah-Ha moment. Thanks, Amy!

Deb Ruth posted some wonderful photographs of a Civil War era Bible on Adventures in Genealogy.

Ben Barden is the author of my new favorite non-genealogy blog. He provides great tips for bloggers. This week I liked How Do You Know if a Post is Going to Be Good Before You Publish It? I encourage my fellow genealogy bloggers to subscribe to his blog feed.

Here is Wayne Groner's review of Linda Spence's book, Legacy - A Step By Step Guide to Writing Personal History. It lists some great questions to use in interviews. He also writes about Genealogy in Memoirs Can Be Tricky.

Speaking of great interview questions, check out the Top 50 life story questions recommended by Dan Curtis' blog.

I liked Greta Koehl's take on Genealogy Monopoly - how do you effectively build your genealogy real estate with subscription sites and free web sites.

Ruby Coleman never misses with her posts about Nebraska on Nebraska Roots and Ramblings. This week she wrote Learning About Nebraska.

My friend and fellow blogger, Barbara Poole, wrote about the synchronicity of events that led her to find a reference to one of HER relatives in a blog post written by me. Barbara writes Life From the Roots. Now we are checking our family trees to see if we are connected via the Bellinger family in New York.

Being a journalist, it should come as no surprise that old newspapers are one of my favorite sources of information for family history and I subscribe to both Genealogybank and Newspaper Archive. Lynn Wayson Koehler reminds us of the free sites that provide newspaper indexes and images. Check out her recommendations on Genealogy, Etc.

Linda McAuley of Documenting the Details discovered 614 potential new relatives via the Relative Finder results of her DNA test at 23andMe.

A summary of M. Bridget Cook's presentation on writing a biography was provided on Jirene's Genealogy Tips.

Family History Expos

This week marked the roll-out of the newly designed web site of Family History Expos. I love the new site and the way the information is presented. Congratulations to Holly Hansen and her staff for kicking it up a notch!

Other recommended reading

Other bloggers also offer their recommendations and weekly highlights. Check their recommended reading lists:

Randy Seaver's Best of the Geneablogs on Geneamusings.

Greta's Follow Friday on Greta's Genealogy Blog.

Elizabeth O'Neal's Best Bytes on Little Bytes of Life.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Details of the Death of John Bellinger in the Revolutionary War

I have previously written about one of my Revolutionary War ancestors, John Bellinger, and his history as related by my great grandfather and other published resources.

It always pays to go back and continue to look for more information. I've just discovered a more detailed account of my ancestor in The Frontiersmen of New York written by Jeptha Root Simms in 1883. I discovered this by again searching in Google books.

His account reads:

Death of John Bellinger and Escape of his Comrades. - On some occasion during the war and believed to have been in 1778, John and Christopher Bellinger, brothers and Philip Harter, were on the flats between Fort Dayton and the river getting hay. John Bellinger was some 25 years of age; his companions were several years younger. As John was engaged in pitching hay into a window with a fork, and his friends in raking at a little distance from him, a tory, named Harmanus House, and two Mohawk Indians appeared in a corn field near the laborers. The latter having taken the precaution to carry their guns to the field, had laid them upon the trunk of a wind-fallen tree near where they were at work. Christopher first discovered the foes approaching, and shouted the prophetic words of the times - "The Indians!"

John Bellinger was an uncommonly strong and courageous man, and withal swift on foot. With uplifted fork he ran  directly for the guns, quite as near to which was his tory foe; his brother and Harter at the same time fleeing for the fort, pursued by the Indians. As John neared his own gun, House drew up to fire on him, but before doing so he called back his comrades by a signal whistle. He then fired, and one of  freedom's boldest champions was weltering in his gore. Christopher and Philip reached the fort in safety. There were other Indians concealed near the field, as was afterwards understood, who dreaded the vengeance of John Bellinger more than that of a score of ordinary men. The enemy obtained, with his scalp and the plunder of his person, the three guns which the young men had taken to the field. The loss of this brave partisan was severely felt in the German Flats, for his was one of the master spirits of that section, just suited to the times. But, like many noble young Americans, he was surprised and slain, either from envy or the British value to a tory neighbor of his scalp-lock. House called back his accomplices to assist him, fearing if he fired and missed his victim, and their guns were unloaded, his fate would be sealed. He was well acquainted with Bellinger before the war. The remains of the fallen hero were taken to the fort and buried with becoming respect.

* * *

This account provides much more detail about the man who was my fourth great grandfather. Other sources indicate that his death occurred on July 24, 1780, not 1778 as in this account. At the time of his death, he was married to Ernestina Harter. Ernestina gave birth to the couple's only child, yet another John William Bellinger, eight months later. Ernestina had at least two other husbands who also fought in the Revolutionary War: Adam Staring and John Myers.

Wordless Wednesday - the John Bellinger Family

John Bellinger, Emma Landon Bellinger
Son Harry Bellinger
Fremont, Nebraska circa 1882

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Reason to Blog About Your Family History

Earlier this month, I posted an obituary on Agnes Welch Garrigus, who was the sister of my great grandmother. They were the daughters of Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally, who lived in Waterbury and Litchfield, Connecticut. My great grandmother made her way to Nebraska and Agnes remained in Connecticut, married and raised a family.

The obituary included a reference to Rev Roy G. Pavy, who conducted Agnes' funeral service.

Shortly after posting the obituary I heard from my fellow blogger, Barbara Poole, who writes Life From the Roots. Rev. Pavy is in her family tree. Barbara wrote about this in her blog today.

Many of us who blog about our family history and who are part of the genealogy blogging community subscribe to many blogs written by our colleagues. When I see that 300 new blog posts have accumulated in my Google Reader over a day, I often think that I'm too tired to go through all of them and am tempted to mark them all as having been read and start over again. But I don't. The reason why is because of what happened when Barbara read my post. There is always that chance that another blogger is writing about an affiliated family and maybe, just maybe, that little tidbit of information, that little gem, that little clue that has been elusive for so long might show up in my Reader.

No, I do not read every blog post that shows up in my reader. But I scan through each and every one of them. Why? Because I believe in synchronicity. I know that there is always a chance that some long lost relative or other researcher is going to share that little piece of information that I'm looking for to add to the tapestry of my genealogical quilt.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Are You Using eBay to supplement your research?

Note: the links to these auctions will no longer be active in a few weeks. 

Everyone has been using Google to aid their family history research for a long time. But have you considered using eBay as a source for information? Don't laugh. While sometimes tedious, you might get lucky. Just this week a 1920s vintage photo album from a young lady in Tecumseh, Nebraska is being offered for auction. In this example, the seller has provided enough scans that names can be distinguished. What a treasure chest this would be if it happened to be the family you are researching.

While we can't always be that lucky, there are still many ways to use eBay for genealogy.

Postcards and Stereoview cards

If you are not already searching the locales where your ancestors lived, I encourage you to do so. I like to see photographs of the places where my ancestors lived from the period of time when they lived there. eBay is a great place to find old postcards and photographs. For a general search on eBay, I used Nebraska postcard and there were more than 3,000 results. Among the postcards are inscriptions with the names of people or identifying information regarding the people in the cards.

These postcards include photographs of old buildings such as libraries, post offices, schools, banks as well as street scenes.

Here's what downtown Superior, Nebraska looked like when my ancestors lived nearby.

Here's a card of a family standing in front of their windmill sent from Madison, Nebraska and mailed to an aunt in the Bronx, New York.

If you want to narrow your search, add keywords: Lincoln Nebraska postcard.

This reduces my results to about 300 cards to look through. I discovered a post card of Nebraska's 2nd state capitol building as it looked when my family lived about a block away.

You may also have some luck if you search for stereoview cards. Here's an example I found of a roundup in Kansas. I just discovered a lot of vintage postcards from Belleville, Kansas where many of my family lived in the early 1900s.


It may be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but maybe, just maybe, you'll find a relative by searching on their name. Many of the cabinet cards on eBay do not have identifying information, but some do have it. Perhaps you can find a relative with the search terms cabinet card ohio (substitute your location of course). If there is a surname on the card, the seller will usually include this information in the item title.

Everything but the kitchen sink - and sometimes, even that

What else can you find on eBay that might provide a lead to that brick wall?

Funeral cards

Plat Books

County histories - Be forewarned! There are many eBay sellers who are grabbing up digital copies of public domain books from sources such as Google Books, compiling them onto a CD and selling as many as 30 or more books on one CD. If this saves you some time, go for it, but many of these resources are already available on the internet. Just don't think you will be receiving bound volumes of the books for sale. The same applies to Plat Books. Read the seller's description thoroughly before bidding.

Search Tips

If you have too many (or not relevant) search results, you can narrow the search by eliminating search terms. For example, I search for a man named "John Fitzgerald" and my results include President Kennedy. I revise my search to:

"John Fitzgerald" -Kennedy

Putting the name in quotes searches on that exact phrase. Putting the minus sign before Kennedy removes any results that include "John Fitzgerald Kennedy." If you are used to using these search principles on Google, the same applies on eBay.

You Say You Don't Have Time to Spend on eBay?

You can set up an alert that will notify you when items are listed that match your search terms. For example, I am looking for an out of print book on one line of my family that was written by a woman named Hartsough. The search results page shows the number of results for your search term(s), and an option to Save Search. With an eBay account, eBay will send you an email every time a new item is listed that matches your search.

Give it a try!

I encourage you to give this a try and see what you find. Please share your experiences in the Comments section below. I'll also be happy to answer any questions or help you refine your search.

Always remember - think outside the box when it comes to genealogy research.

Sunday's Obituary - Dr Paul Kelly

Paul Harold Kelly
Leslie Florentine Kelly
on a camping trip
photo courtesy Wil Cooper
Dr. Paul H. Kelly
Dr. Paul H. Kelly, well known as a surgeon in Saint Paul for the past thirty-six years, died suddenly at the age of sixty-three at St. Joseph's Hospital on January 9, 1948.
The youngest of eight children, Dr. Kelly was born on October 5, 1884, the son of the late Daniel W. Kelly and Mary Collins Kelly. By a strange coincidence his death took place in the same hospital in which he was born.
He attended the Saint Paul grade schools, Cretin and Central High schools and Hamline University for a year. He received his degree as pharmaceutical chemist in 1904 and his M.D. in 1911, both from the University of Minnesota. During the later years of his medical training, he lived at St. Joseph's Hospital in the capacity of an extern. During this time, he also acted when called upon as relief for the police surgeon at night.
After graduation in 1911, Dr. Kelly interned at Ancker Hospital, then known as the City and County Hospital in Saint Paul, was city physician from 1912 to 1914, and a member of the surgical staff of Ancker Hospital from 1912 to 1928. He was also a member of the staffs of St. Joseph's, Miller, St. Lukes, Midway and St. John's Hospital. He was a member of the advisory board of St. Joseph's Hospital from 1934 to 1939 and chief of staff in 1939.
Dr. Kelly was a member of the Ramsey County Medical Society, the Minnesota State and American Medical Associations, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Association of Railroad Surgeons. In recent years, he was local surgeon for the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul and the Chicago, Great Western railways.
Dr. Kelly was one of the first surgeons in Saint Paul to specialize in industrial surgery, and as a result of his experience, his advice and counsel were frequently sought. He published several articles in Minnesota Medicine: one in 1922 entitled "Strangulated Hernia - Report of Cases"; his part in a Symposium on Emergency Surgery held at the 1933 meeting of the Minnesota State Medical Association, and in 1934 an article entitled "Industrial Accidents - A Report of 2,000 Cases."
Dr. Kelly was a member of the Alpha Kappa Kappa medical fraternity and a life member of the Saint Paul Athletic Club. Hunting was his favorite hobby. He possessed a fine tenor voice and enjoyed classical music in all its forms.
Dr. Kelly was married in 1914 to Leslie F. Terry of Saint Paul. She preceded him in death in February, 1945. Surviving him are four children: Paul Richard of Modesto, California; Howard William of Balboa Island, California; Dr. William Daniel, captain in the Army Medical Corps now in Japan; and Elizabeth Louise (Mrs. Jack C. Cooper) of Milwaukie, Oregon. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. John V. Kelly, and sister, Miss Margaret E. Kelly, both of Saint Paul.
Source: Minnesota Medicine, Volume 31, published by the Minnesota Medical Association in 1948. Pp 312-313.
Relationship to me: first cousin, three times removed; Paul's father, Daniel W. Kelly, was a brother of my great-great grandfather, William D. Kelly. The brothers came from Johnstown, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Sunday Supper - Community Cookbooks - Part 5 - Ruth Henry

Before tossing out any old and worn out community cookbooks, make sure that you look through them for recipes from your relatives! My Dad managed to salvage the 1950 Hardy, Nebraska American Legion Auxiliary Cookbook from my stack of cookbooks I had planned to donate to charity! Thank goodness he looked through them first! This cookbook included not just recipes from my family members, but also photographs of them.


Relationship to me: wife of first cousin, one removed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Greater Omaha Genealogical Society Spring Conference: April 9

The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS) has announced some of the speakers for its Spring 2011 conference to be held April 9, 2011.

Scheduled are:

Hugh Reilly - speaking on Irish History

Kevin Cassidy, speaking on Irish research


Tom Bassett, who will tell you about any antique treasures you bring with you to the workshop.

More information about the conference will be posted here as it becomes available.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History Week 4 - Homes

Week 4 Challenge: Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?

Previously I wrote about the home I lived in between the ages of 5 and 10. I knew that my mother had lived in that house as a child and recent research showed that my mother's mother lived in the very same house when she was a youngster!

During the remaining years when I lived with my parents, we had two homes. I loved both of these houses because they were great party homes! All of our Lincoln homes were within one mile of each other because my Dad wanted to be within walking distance of his workplace.

This split-level home is where we moved to from Greenwood. This house was built in 1960. We moved there in 1961. The home's exterior was California redwood, which meant that the project of staining the wood was something that had to be done on a regular basis. The panels on the front were sort of a light rust color. My folks later painted those yellow.

In its day, this was really a modern house and was quite a showcase. It stood out because it didn't look like any of the other houses in the neighborhood. I remember that my folks paid $14,500 for this house. I bring that up because I just checked the current valuation information. The house sold for $193,000 in 2001, but when it was sold in 2007, it went for $72,000.

We lived here for five years and I have great memories of our time here. That's me waving from the stage, I mean, the deck. But it was my stage. Unfortunately, I could never sing worth a lick, but I knew all of the lyrics to Broadway musicals and Top 40 hits. I would take my record player outside, put my records on the turntable and lip-synch my way through my own productions. I would do about an hour show whether I had an audience or not. One Sunday afternoon I put on my performance of The Music Man (of course, I played all the characters) for my parents and grandparents. My grandpa Pete gave me $5, so I figured that a future in show business was inevitable. Ha!

We had great times here. Every weekend meant cooking outdoors on the grill (charcoal, not gas!). My parents entertained friends and relatives and I loved having my friends over to play or have parties. It was just two blocks from my school. This is the home I came to the Friday afternoon when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas. This is the home where I heard the first chords of The Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand. This home absolutely represented what life was like in the early 1960s.

Here I am in our living room, posing, as always. I'm looking at the soundtrack from the film How the West Was Won. So this was probably late 1963 because after February of the following year, I would be holding nothing but a Beatles album. Those furnishings and accessories are so retro! It looks like Rob and Laura Petrie could have lived there. I'm sitting in front of our German made stereo. Mp3 players are really a lot easier to carry around.

I see a huge ashtray sitting on the end table. Both of my parents were smokers and I loathed (still do) cigarettes or smoking of any kind.

Here is the house today. Driving by, it no longer resembles the home I grew up in; it no longer has that WOW factor that it had 50 years ago. The California redwood exterior has been replaced with siding. The garage has been converted into living space and a carport has been added.

In December 1965, we moved from this house into a red brick ranch style home about a mile away. I don't remember the reason we moved, only that we did.

This photo of my parents in front of our home was taken in 1968. This is where we lived throughout my high school and college years.

This was a great party home as well. The basement was finished in knotty pine - very tres chic in the 60s! Friends and family would gather around the bar in the basement. Beer for the grownups and Coca-Cola for the kids.

This is where I lived when Bobby Kennedy was killed, when I graduated from high school and college, when Paul McCartney got married.

The basement rec room became a gathering and entertainment mecca. It was the site of the first meeting of the Lincoln Beatles' fan club one Saturday afternoon. I couldn't understand why Dad was so unglued when he first learned that the fan club was having a meeting in his home while listening to an announcement on the radio while driving home from his Saturday trip to the bank!

My folks liked to go out on weekends and when the bars closed, everyone would end up in our basement rec room.

One Saturday night, about 1 a.m., my folks woke me up to tell me that Tom Henry was downstairs sitting at our bar. At the time, Tom Henry was THE main anchorman at KMTV in Omaha. He was dating a woman one of my parents knew, they had run into them and the couple came over to our house to visit.

My folks told Tom that I was entering journalism school in the fall, so that's when they woke me up. I went downstairs - in my pajamas and robe, mind you - and spent the next several hours listening to Tom tell all of these wonderful stories about working in the real world of journalism. How many times do you wake up to find a news anchorman in your basement?

This house looks much the same as it did then. The shutters have been painted a different color, a new door graces the front and several years ago, the owners constructed a new garage. The last time it changed ownership was in 2009 for a selling price of $110,000. My parents paid a whopping $16,500 in 1965. This was my home until I left the nest after graduating from college.

I have such great memories of both of these homes. And as I think about it, it probably wasn't the structures that were so great. It was the loving environment and the great times that I associate with living in both places. I've taken many friends on the "drive by" of all of the places I've lived in Lincoln - these two have the most memories for me.

About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy has created a third year of blogging prompts for genealogy bloggers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun on Friday: A Trip Through Nebraska

NOTE: Apparently the following is making the rounds via email amongst Nebraskans. I tried to locate the original source on the web, with no results as to the origin. If you know the original source, please let me know so I can provide proper credit. I hope my fellow Nebraskans and those doing research in the state will enjoy this little diversion. My thanks to a former business partner for passing this one along.

A Trip Through Nebraska

This past summer, I traveled throughout the colorful State of Nebraska, in search of a Blue Hill, a Red Cloud, or a Silver Creek, but what I stumbled across was Clay Center, Brownville, Greenwood and Roseland.

I began my trip by traveling Inland, and then headed south to North Loup, then north to South Sioux City.  I got turned around in Loup City, headed the wrong direction out of South Bend, and back on track at North Bend. It was then I discovered that West Point is in the east, Central City was off Center, Malcolm isn’t in the middle, and the Brady bunch lived east of North Platte.

There were towns along the way that really rocked.  Guide Rock, Rockville, Table Rock, and Keystone: but, to my Surprise, there was no rock at Plymouth.
The weather cooperated for the most part, but after a heavy rain, the flood Gates opened and flooded the Valley with Clearwater. I was then stuck in White Clay for a day. McCool Junction was like . . . Burr.

The trip wasn’t without Hazard though. I had to Dodge Beaver Crossing the Wood River (probably on his way to Beaver City). Had the Dickens scared out of me by an Archer with a Broken Bow, chased up an old Oak tree by a Bassett hound, suffered an allergic reaction to Angora wool, kicked by a Holstein, fell from a Butte, stung by a Bee, had to wade through Broadwater, **** on by an Eagle, pricked by a Rose, stepped on by an Angus, attacked by a Gibbon, experienced the Pierce of an Elkhorn. Took a bad tumble in Falls City, but was back on my feet at Rising City.  Had to fight my way out of Battle Creek, nearly met my Waterloo when I was mobbed at Lynch, and almost drowned in Weeping Water.

Although I didn’t have the time to visit every Nebraska City, I was still able to Foster an Alliance with many a new Friend. The people in Laurel and Hardy really made me laugh, but those in Crab Orchard were a bit grumpy.  Folks in Homer were a big hit.  At times I was treated like a Champion and shown the Royal treatment.  Received a nice greeting in Valentine, but the town I was most attracted to had to be Magnet.

I always had plenty of food and drink along the way.  Everything from Concord grapes to Bartlett pears, black Angus steaks to Hershey bars. Never had to Cook and never had to open a can of Worms.

The Nebraska nights were awesome. Auburn sunsets and Sterling moons. From the Flats in the east, where the Aurora borealis unfolds into Plainview, to the Western hills where you can see the Sparks coming out of Chimney Rock.

The entire Nebraska adventure was like a Page out of history.  After passing through Colon, I realized my trip had just come to . . . the end!