Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Gret, Cousin Jack, Uncle Lee

My second cousin Bill has graciously shared a number of photographs and images of items his grandmother, my great aunt, saved years ago. This is a portrait of Bill's father, Jack Bleidt (1929-1973) on his First Communion day, May 17, 1936. He is with his godparents, my great aunt Gretchen Anna Reis Pape (1886-1947) and great uncle Lee (Leo) John Pape (1893-1979).

My dad says "Aunt Gret" (who shares her birthday with me) was a lot of fun. I will share something later that she did when Jack was born. Here's a story my dad remembers from his childhood:

Jack and I decided one day to ride our bikes out to Wilmette [from their homes in Evanston, Illinois] to visit Uncle Lee and Aunt Gret. I don't remember if we had our parents' permission. We had plain old two-wheel single gear bikes. The trip was probably eight to ten miles, maybe more. It took us all morning and we were tired when we got there. Uncle Lee was working somewhere (he was a first class carpenter). Aunt Gret was home and she fixed us a great lunch complete with lemonade and homemade cookies. Uncle Lee came home early and we got to ride in his pickup truck. It was the first time Jack or I had ridden in a truck, which was a lot of fun. They owned two adjoining lots with the house and garage on one lot. Aunt Gret had a huge well-cultivated garden which occupied most of the other lot. They grew lots of greens like lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, etc. and cooking vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, etc. We had fun picking some of the ripe vegetables with her. I really liked the radishes. She also gave us some to take home. Around 5 o'clock we were going to go home on the bikes, but Aunt Gret had Uncle Lee put our bikes in the back of his truck and he drove us home. We were happy not only to ride home in the truck but, being tired, we appreciated not having to pedal those bikes all the way back to my house.
© Amanda Pape - 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Surname Saturday: SPIKES and PICKERING (or PICKENS)

Spikes and Pickering or Pickens were the maiden names of my great-great-grandmother and great-great-great grandmother, respectively, on my mother's side. I can't go very far back in either line.

As is typical for many women, I know little about Leah Lucy Pickering or Pickens (1835-1903) prior to 1860. In that year, she appears on the census in Winn Parish married to G. W. (George Washington) Barton, with two sons. A third son was born before G. W. passed away in 1864. Leah then married Levi Spikes.

I can trace back four generations of Spikes, from Winn and Grant Parishes, Louisiana; Jackson and Tattnall Counties, Georgia; and Perry County, Mississippi:
  1. Sarianne Spikes (1871 - 1935) - married Levi Marion Shelton on December 30, 1884
  2. Levi Lewis Spikes (1805 - 1881) - married Lucy Leah Pickering or Pickens in 1865
  3. Elias Spikes (1765 - 1823) - married Morning Collins, born June 18, 1766
  4. Josiah Spikes, born in Mississippi, died in 1800 in Darien, Georgia

The image above is of an applique square done by Leah Pickering Spikes and in the home of her granddaughter (my great-grandmother's sister), Pearl Shelton Chelette (1909-2003).

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mystery for Kids Incorporating Genealogy

[This post was originally on my book blog, but I decided to post a slightly different version here for fellow family historians who might be looking for a book on this topic for the kids in their lives]

I've been working on a project at my university where I am slowly but surely adding books in our children's collection to a LibraryThing database (which makes my job helping 120+ students in the children's literature class this fall that much easier). I came across this one a couple days ago and it caught my eye.

Four-time Edgar Award winner and "half-Texan" Joan Lowery Nixon set this mystery for 8-12 year-olds in Texas, and incorporates a historical event and genealogy to boot. Seventh-grader Andy Thomas has to do a family history project for school. His family and that of his best friend J.J. have lived in the (real) town of Hermosa, Texas, for generations, and Andy discovers a black sheep among his ancestors. Talking about this Cole Joseph Bonner upsets and embarrasses Andy's great aunt, particularly around J.J's great-grandmother, but Andy persists in trying to find out just what happened with "Coley Joe."

I loved how Andy uses a box of memorabilia in his great aunt's attic (including a family bible, an old photograph, and an heirloom), e-mail and genealogy bulletin boards (the book was published in 1996), library research (including asking the librarian for help--hooray!), and visits to the local cemetery to help solve the mystery. The Salt War is the real event that provides a setting for part of the story.

I can totally see this book being used for interdisciplinary studies in a 4th to 7th grade classroom, or by a parent to spark a child's interest in genealogy and/or family history (there's a Bonner family tree at the beginning of the book) and ways to research them, updating the story's tools by incorporating websites and social media available today. There are also some nice lessons about friendship and respect for elders in the book as well.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday, Mark!

Happy birthday (yesterday, August 24) to the love of my life! This is my favorite photo of Mark, taken by me on April 4, 1980, on board his sailboat, The Wagon, in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Albert Allen & Elizabeth Wolfe

Albert Allen Wolfe and his wife Elizabeth would have been my great-great uncle and aunt on my mother's side. They are both buried in the Monongahela Cemetery in the city of the same name in Pennsylvania.

Albert Allen Wolfe was born on March 18, 1886, in Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania, the 7th of 8 children (and third and last son) of Joseph William Wolfe and Margaret Melzina “Maggie” Carroll Wolfe. He appears in the 1900 census living in Monongahela with his parents, older brother Abraham, younger sister Irma, and older sister Margaret, along with the latter’s husband Edward Yohe and their son Lloyd L.

In the 1910 census, he is a bricklayer, still in Monongahela, Ward 3, living on Fourth Street with his wife Elizabeth and their newborn son Joseph. In the 1920 census, they are still in the same place; Joseph is now nine and younger brother Albert is six. The family is still in the same location on the 1930 census; Joseph is now also a bricklayer.

Albert’s 1942 World War II draft registration card shows he is still married to Elizabeth, his residence as 4th and Black Street, and that he is working for Hiram Swanks Sons in Large, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Albert outlived all but possibly one of his siblings, passing away in 1958.

Little is known so far of his wife Elizabeth. Based on census data, she and her parents were born in Pennsylvania. Her maiden name may have been Miller, and/or her middle initial M. According to her tombstone, she was born in 1886 and died in 1961.

The photo above is courtesy of Harry Adams at the Find A Grave website.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Paul Pape-Elizabeth Massmann Wedding

This lovely photo is from the wedding of my paternal grandparents, Paul Robert Pape (1896-1970) and Elizabeth Florence Massmann (1902-2000), on September 3, 1924, at St. Jerome's Roman Catholic Church in the Rogers Park area of Chicago. The bride and groom are in the center of the photograph.  The photo was taken by Joseph David (J. D.) Toloff (1888-1957) of Evanston, Illinois.

The other two men in the wedding party are my great-uncles Alfred John Massmann (1901-1964) on the left (Elizabeth's older brother), and Lee John Pape (1893-1979) on the right (Paul's older brother).

I have no idea who the other women in the photograph are. Elizabeth did not have any sisters. They may have been some of Paul's sisters, her cousins (there were lots on the Dienes side), or just friends. I'd really love to know who the little flower girl was!

ETA:  I now think the bridesmaid to the left is Rhea Maria Pape (1892-1977), Paul's sister, and the flower girl is her daughter, Patricia "Pat" Pape Hunter Parks (1923-1967),

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Surname Saturday: MASSMANN

Massmann was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. Her grandfather, Carl Massmann, 1847-1929, was born in Hanover, Germany, and came to the United States with his wife, Minna Freicke, and their five surviving children in 1884. Those children were:

  • Frances, 1874-1958, who never married;
  • Frederick Henry, 1875-1948, who is my great-grandfather;
  • George Herman, 1877-1963, who married and had three sons but only one Massmann grandson (Thomas, born in 1938);
  • Minnie Clara, 1878-1938, who married twice but had no children; and
  • Charles William, 1880-1946, who was married twice and had only daughters.

This photograph is from the wedding of Frederick Henry Massmann and Elizabeth Camilla Dienes (1877-1946) on June 5, 1900, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, Illinois. They are pictured on the left. The man standing to the right is George Herman Massmann. The woman seated to the right is probably Elizabeth's sister Clara Dienes, because according to the parish records, she was the other official witness:

Frederick and Elizabeth Dienes Massmann had two children, Alfred John (1901-1964) and Elizabeth Florence (1902-2000), my grandmother. Alfred had five children, four girls and one boy, Alfred John Jr. (1926-1999). The latter had seven children, including two boys.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Levi Shelton Family, around 1898

From left to right: John Sidney Shelton (1892-1963), Levi Marion Shelton (1863-1941), Addilee Tennessee Shelton Wolfe Harris (1890-1977), Sarianne Spikes Shelton (1871-1935), and Lee Thomas Shelton (1894-1968). I am guessing this photo was taken about 1898, as the next sibling to survive infancy, James Rufus Shelton, was born in 1899.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Irma Wolfe Quinn, 1888-1955

Irma Wolfe Quinn is the youngest child of my great-great-grandparents, Joseph William and Margaret Melzina "Maggie" Carroll Wolfe. She was born September 23, 1888, in Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

I found her on the 1900 census in Monongahela with her parents and older brothers Albert (who outlived her) and Abraham, as well as her older sister Margaret Yohe, her husband Edward Yohe, and their two-year-old son Loyd.

After that, I have been unable to locate Irma. Her middle name has been listed in some family records as Linda, although her obituary says it is Livia and the tombstone just gives the middle initial M. Other records say she might have been married to a Rowland, but she was married to an Edward Quinn since at least 1949, when they moved to Martinsburg, Jefferson County, West Virginia so Edward could be treated at the Baker Veterans Administration Center Hospital there. They lived at 333 S. Queen Street when she died on November 29, 1955. She is buried near her father, mother, and sister Myrtle in the Monongahela Cemetery.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Shelton Family Reunion

The Shelton family used to (maybe still does?) have reunions in Winn Parish, Louisiana. I remember my grandmother and step-grandfather, Wallace "Archie" and Sara Wolfe Guokas Archibald, taking me to at least one of these when I was around 10 or 12 - maybe even the one in the picture. My grandmother would introduce me to everyone and they would say, "Oh, you look just like Gerrie!" (my mother).

The photograph at left is of my great-grandmother (seated at far left), Addilee Tennessee Shelton Wolfe Harris (1890-1977), and her four children and their spouses. Standing are Archie (1896-1970), Lloyd Wolfe (1906-1993), Louis Ely (1913-1980), and Bob Brown (1908-1970). Seated are Addilee, my grandmother Sara (1908-1997), Lloyd's second wife Georgia Noreen Turner Wolfe (1911-1997), Neva Marie Wolfe Ely (1912-1995), Edith Wolfe Brown Gould Knox (1910-2006), and my aunt, Sara's daughter, Sister Jean Marie Guokas (b. 1930). Archie and Bob both died in 1970, so this photograph was taken sometime before then; but after the death of Lloyd's first wife Florida Louise "Sally" Lasyone, who died April 29, 1963.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surname Saturday: SHELTON

Shelton was my maternal great-grandmother's maiden name. I can trace back six generations in this line, from Winn Parish, Louisiana; to Alabama; Giles County, Tennessee; Adair County, Kentucky; and Virginia:

1. Addilee Tennessee Shelton, 1890 - 1977
2. Levi Marion Shelton, 1863 - 1941
3. Jacob Shelton, 1822 - 1874
4. Mark Shelton, 1784 - 1853
5. Stephen W. Shelton, 1760 - 1828
6. James Shelton, 1739 - ?

The hand-colored photo to the right is of Levi Marion Shelton and his wife, Sarianne Spikes (1871 - 1935). It was taken in Louisiana sometime in the 1920s or early 1930s. They had 12 children, nine of whom survived into adulthood.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday: Charles Guokas Jr. and Gov. "Pa" Ferguson

This is a photograph of my maternal grandfather, Charles Guokas Jr. (1903-1967) and then-former-governor (1915-1917) James Edward "Pa" Ferguson (1871-1944). As previously mentioned, my grandfather was a secretary to Texas Governor Miriam Amanda "Ma" Ferguson, Pa's wife, from June 1933 to the end of her second term in January 1935.

This photograph was taken in downtown Houston, Texas, where my grandfather spent most of his life (with the exception of his years of state service in Austin). You can see the sign for the historic Rice Hotel in the background - which was built on the site of the former capitol of the Republic of Texas. Who knows, maybe these two had just had lunch in its Senate Room, or stopped by its Old Capitol Club for a drink. Not sure what the weird line is across the photograph.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Jane Barr Carroll, 1822-1896

Jane Barr Carroll is my great-great-great-grandmother. She was born in 1822 in Pennsylvania. By the 1850 census she was married to Louis Huffman Carroll and living in West Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Daughter Margaret Melzina, my great-great-grandmother, was born in 1846.

On the 1860 and 1870 censuses, the family is living in Carroll, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Son Harvey Louis was born in 1858. In 1870, Margaret and her husband Joseph William Wolfe and their daughter Emma are living with them, as well as a 12-year-old girl named Olive Pancost--not sure how or if she is related.

In 1880, Jane and her husband and son lived in Monongahela in Washington County, Pennsylvania, with daughter Margaret Carroll Wolfe and her growing family next door.

Jane died on November 19, 1896, in Monongahela, and is buried next to her husband in the Monongahela Cemetery in the same plot as Joseph and Margaret Carroll Wolfe and their infant daughter Myrtle Jenny Wolfe.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Dairymen's Country Club, Wisconsin, late 1930's

From left: Bob (1926-2008), Betty (born 1927), and Fred Pape (born 1929) at Dairymen's in Wisconsin, probably in the late 1930s. Dad remembers going here a lot as a kid, swimming and fishing.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Surname Saturday: WOLFE

Wolfe was my maternal grandmother's maiden name. I can trace back seven generations in this line, to Washington County, Pennsylvania, and Frederick County, Virginia:

1. Sara Melzina Wolfe (1908-1997)
2. Louis Henry Wolfe (1872-1929)
3. Joseph William Wolfe (1845-1918)
4. William C. Wolfe (1820-1855)
5. Isaac C. Wolfe (1792-1870)
6. George Wolfe (1774-1804)
7. Jacob Wolfe (1734-1815)

The photo above is of Louis Henry Wolfe (top row, left) and Joseph William Wolfe (top row, right) and Louis' four children, Lloyd (1906-1993, top row, center), Sara (bottom row, left), Neva Marie (1912-1995, bottom row, center), and Edith Elizabeth (1910-2006). It was taken sometime after 1912 but before Joseph's death on October 30, 1918. I'm guessing around 1916, as Marie was born in November and she looks about three or four years old here.

I believe the photograph was taken in the front yard of the home of James Shannon Wolfe (1870-1949), Louis' older brother, who lived at 1405 Allston Street in Houston, Texas, on the 1910 and 1920 census. In fact, Louis and the children were living with Shannon and his family in 1920. Furthermore, the photo below was taken at the same time, and shows Joseph, Louis, and Shannon:

What I don't know is who the young boy in the background is in the first photograph - the one standing behind the fence. Shannon had a son, Shannon Jr., but he was born in 1902 and would be older than Lloyd, yet this boy looks younger. Maybe just a neighbor passing by who decided to be in the picture.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: UNK [Wolfe?]

This is one of the many photos I scanned while at my parents' home a few weekends back. This photo was/is in very bad condition, and we don't know who it is.

It's definitely someone on my Mom's side of the family. Since the coat the man is wearing looks almost military, I think it is probably from my maternal grandmother's side (Wolfe and Shelton). My maternal grandfather's parents were from Lithuania and my maternal great-grandfather, Charles Guokas Sr., did not immigrate until 1880 or 1890.

If I had to make a guess, I would say this is my great-great grandfather, Joseph William Wolfe, 1845-1918. On September 2, 1861, Joseph enlisted as a private with Company D of the 79th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, which saw quite a bit of action in the Civil War. He rose to the rank of corporal and served through July 12, 1865. Apparently he eventually applied for a pension in December 1868 as 1883 pension rolls for Washington County show him receiving $4 a month.

The Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania [National Guard] for the year 1893 shows that Joseph was a member of the Tenth Regiment Infantry, enlisting as a private on December 17, 1888, promoted to corporal in June 1892, and to first lieutenant on May 26, 1893.

Guess I'll have to do some research on the uniforms of these groups for that period.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

ETA:  I now (November 2013) think this is a photo of Joseph's son, my great-grandfather Louis Henry Wolfe (1872-1929).  Louis was in the military too - he was in the Army, a private in Company C of the 6th Infantry, from May 4 to October 28, 1898, and then again from January 11, 1901 to January 11, 1904.  This photo was probably taken in 1898, when he would have been 17 years old.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Louis/Lewis Huffman Carroll, 1822-1885

Louis (or Lewis) Huffman Carroll was my great-great-great grandfather. He was born March 4, 1822, near Lebanon in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas and Dorcas Huffman Carroll. By the 1850 census he was married to Jane Barr and living in West Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Daughter Margaret Melzina, my great-great-grandmother, was born in 1846.

On the 1860 and 1870 censuses, the family is living in Carroll, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Son Harvey Louis was born in 1858. In 1870, Margaret and her husband Joseph William Wolfe and their daughter Emma are living with them, as well as a 12-year-old girl named Olive Pancost--not sure how or if she is related. In 1880, Huffman (the name he was using by that point), Jane, and Harvey lived in Monongahela in Washington County, Pennsylvania, with daughter Margaret Carroll Wolfe and her growing family next door.

Huffman is listed as a boatbuilder on the 1850 census, and as a carpenter on the next three censuses. He died on January 6, 1885, in Monongahela, and is buried next to his wife in the Monongahela Cemetery in the same plot as Joseph and Margaret Carroll Wolfe and their infant daughter Myrtle Jenny Wolfe.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Elizabeth & Gerrie Guokas

This photo is of my great-grandmother Elizabeth Banavich* Guokas, holding my mother, Geraldine Guokas Pape. I'm guessing that this photograph was taken in spring or summer, 1929, because my mother was born in late 1928, and her grandmother died on November 6, 1929. It's likely that it was taken in Houston, Texas, because they all lived there at the time. In fact, the 1930 census shows my mother, her two siblings, and her parents living with my widowed great-grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Sr.

*There's a lot of confusion about the spelling of Elizabeth's maiden name. I've seen it on various documents as Banavich, Bonewitz, and Bovits. There's also some confusion about the year she was born - it was either 1872, 1875, or 1877.

© Amanda Pape - 2010