Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Afternoon at the Museum

For many years, I have been interested in our family geneology.  My dad died so very young, at 55, that my sister and I were not even 20 when it happened.  He came from a farm family of Danish descent, from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.  My mother's family was Irish on both sides.  We children were given copies of our family bible pages listing some relatives, and we had nothing much more to go on.  Neither family took pictures... in fact, I probably have less than 100 pictures of my family as we grew up in the 50's. 

A year ago, I took a class one night at the library in Tonganoxie, and brought home a packet of papers with lots of good information.  There they sat in their envelope, staring at me here in the computer room.  Then, one night, I searched high and low for the papers my mother had given my sister and me, showing what she knew of both sides of the family. 

I joined Ancestry.com.  For those of you researching your families, you know what that did.  Sleepless nights.  Long afternoons, when I sat down to look one thing up, and looked up hours later to see the afternoon had gone.  I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that we knew only my mother's dad.... as the old gentleman who slept after holiday meals.... and rarely addressed us.... and my dad's mom... who was not a cuddly grandma at all, but perched us on little stools in front of her to talk to us.  The study of our family history has brought literally HUNDREDS of relatives to light, and I am only about 4 generations back.  There, I have to stop and go to Europe, so I am fleshing out those who lived in America first. 

When finished, I'll present the findings to my brothers (and their kids) and my sister and her son.  My own kids will get copies.

It's good for people to know from whence they came.

As part of this study, I have stopped by the Tonganoxie Historical Site, (and am going to join the Historical Society).  It is in a dairy barn that at one time was the largest dairy in Kansas... and they also have a lovely church moved to the site, and a wonderful one room school.  I took these pictures there...

Any idea?????  It came from a beauty shop and was used to give permanents! It looks like a medieval torture instrument! All those dangly things attached to your hair and the current was turned on!
This picture is marked "Captain Jim Hoey", "Meanest Man in Leavenworth County".
Hmmmm. He kind of looks it.
This is the Reno Methodist Church, which was moved to the site.  It can be rented for weddings, meetings, etc. and has a kitchen in the basement, along with a meeting room.
And this is the Honey Creek School, also moved to the site, and can be used by teachers for history lessons:
The whole site is lovingly maintained by mostly older volunteers, with donated exhibits and on a strict budget, I'm sure.  It's well worth a visit, and someday maybe I can volunteer there. 

Is anyone else having Blogger issues these days?  I notice slower navigation and difficulty in posting pictures at times.  I am just wondering if I'm alone. 


  1. That medieval thing with the dangly things was almost tortue. I begged my Mom for a permanent when I was 12 years old. She agreed. I was hooked up and when it started to burn, they had a hand-held machine that shot cold air to give you some relief. Was so glad when the machineless (or cold waves as they were called) came out. Then came the Toni perms. The good old days.

  2. I have not gotten into the Ancestry.com thing yet, but I know my grandparents were both Belgian.Forgot to sign the note above. Love, Mary G.

  3. I tried Ancestry.com and had so much duplicate information to wade through, I stopped.

    I am glad you were able to sort this all out. It is wonderful to have a family history. I know about seven generations but must be content with that.

  4. He must have been really mean.

    Been out, am catching up.

  5. I love ancestry.com. I've spent many hours lost there. It's good that you have an interest in your family history and want to pass that on.


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