Wednesday, November 28, 2012

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Charles Guokas Jr. Family, c.1927

My maternal grandparents, Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903-1967) and Sara Melzina Wolfe Guokas Archibald (1907-1997) with firstborn Charles Guokas III (1927-1999), probably late 1927 (Charles III was born in February) or early 1928 (my mother was born in October of that year) in Houston, Texas.  This could be outside 2215 Shearn (where the 1928 and 1929 city directories indicate they were living, while Charles Jr. worked as a "coll[ecto]r"? for Pittsburg Water Heater Company), or outside 1717 Shearn (where my great-grandparents, Charles Sr. & Elizabeth Guokas, lived), or outside 212 North York (where the 1927 city directory indicates they were living, while Charles Jr. worked as a checker for Ford Motor Company). 

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Lorrie


While doing some searches on Ancestry.com yesterday, I found this article (above and at left) about my godmother, my aunt Dolores "Lorrie" Olker Pape, wife of my dad's oldest brother Bob.  It was published in the January 20, 1977 edition of the Chicago Daily Herald, on pages 13 and 14. I'd like to try the recipe for Creme de Menthe Parfait!

Lorrie was born on August 25, 1929, in Chicago.  She married Bob on June 19, 1954, and they had four daughters.  She passed away December 6, 2005, in Florida.  She had made a dessert and was delivering it to a neighbor when she slipped and hit her head.  She had been battling throat cancer, but was doing well.  It makes me so sad that she died because she was doing a kindness for someone else.  I miss her.   I miss Uncle Bob (1926-2008) too.
Lorrie and Bob, March 1, 2003


Bob & Lorrie, July 1970

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving!

My son Eric did this in either 1993 or 1994
 © Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Ewald T. Pape's House Designs


When I attended the Texas State Genealogical Society conference a couple weeks ago, I won a door prize - a one year's subscription to GenealogyBank, which includes a number of historic newspapers.  This weekend I did a little searching, and found (among other things), the above ad, from page 31 of the March 14, 1926, Portland Oregonian, for my architect relative Ewald Theodore Pape (1894-1976).  In all, I found 50 articles with references to him just in this newspaper, concerning numerous houses, apartments, and other facilities he designed.  Here are a couple that I have been able to verify still exist today:

Page 24 of the February 22, 1931, Portland Oregonian has a sketch (above) by "E.T. Pape" (his signature and the year 1931 are clearly visible in the lower right-hand corner) of a home "at the northeast corner of East Twenty-eighth street and Knapp avenue" "in the Eastmoreland district."

I thought it was interesting that the house was commissioned "by the Portland Women's Realty Board to show what may be done for $12,000 in this city when it comes to attractive, practical homes."  So far I haven't been able to find any information about the Portland Women's Realty Board.

Building went quickly.  The June 7, 1931, Portland Oregonian, on page 26, says, "The house designed by Mr. Pape for the Portland Women's Realty board is now nearing completion at East Twenty-eighth street and Knapp avenue, Eastmoreland, and will be open to the public June 14 for inspection."

It was pretty easy to determine from the description and from looking at Google Maps that the address of this house, which still stands (as of August 2011), is 2805 SE Knapp Street.  It doesn't appear to have been altered on the outside, and a real estate listing from three years ago indicates that the Tudor-style house has four bedrooms, three baths, 2972 finished square feet and 837 unfinished square feet (probably in the attached two-car garage), hardwood floors, "original woodwork, moldings, archways, leaded windows, built-ins, stately entry with grand stairway and foyer, elegant formal rooms, gorgeous designer kitchen with breakfast bar and nook, fabulous master suite with fireplace (1 of 3) and window seat."


A drawing of the house pictured above appears on page 18 of the August 27, 1933, Portland Oregonian.  According to Google Maps, this house also still exists (as of July 2011) at almost the same address, 3517 East Burnside Street, in the Laurelhurst neighborhood.  Burnside is apparently a north/south divider street, and the house is on the north side of the street. "The English Tudor theme was used by the designer, E. T. Pape, with a harmonious blending of stucco, stone, brick, and timber."  Public records indicate the 4,394-square-foot house has four bedrooms and one-to-three bathrooms on a 7,334-square-foot lot.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Gertrude and John Pape, ABT December 1918

This photograph (at left) of my great-grandparents, Gertrude Kramer Pape (1859-1919) and John Pape (1851-1945), was taken about 94 years ago, probably in October or November 1918, as they are dressed the same way they were in this picture (below) from the same time period:


Why do I think both pictures were taken in one of those two months?  Walter Pape (1900-1975), the son in the middle of the picture above, served in the Army only from October 5 through November 14, 1918.  The other two brothers are my grandfather Paul (left, 1896-1970) and Lee (right, 1893-1979); both served in the Navy in World War I.  Both photographs were taken in front of the Pape family home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, so snow was certainly possible then.  

[NOTE:  My cousin-in-law Cathy Dietz sent some information about snowfall in the Chicago area in 1918 and 1919.  There was no snow in October 1918, and only half an inch total in November 1918.  However, there was 8.8 inches in December 1918, and 1.8 inches in January 1919.  Daily snow depth was at least two inches for the last part of December 1918 and first part of January 1919.  I think the picture was probably taken during the Christmas holidays, perhaps while Lee (and perhaps Paul) were home on leave from the Navy.]

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day! - Fred & Bob

Fred Pape, 21 June 1951 - flight school, Columbus, Mississippi
My dad, Frederick Henry Pape, was in the Air Force from March 1951 through April 1955, and served in the Korean War from September 1952 to April 1953 as a navigator and bombardier on B-26s, mostly flying out of K-1, the Pusan West Air Base. He flew at least 50 missions and was awarded the Air Medal.

Fred attended flight school in Columbus, Mississippi and graduated from Navigator Training School at Ellington Air Force Base, Houston, Texas, in April 1952.
Bob Pape, Korean War - photo from Terrie Pape Zitzelsberger

Dad's brother, my uncle, Paul Robert Pape Jr., served in the Navy in World War II and in Korea.  He did his basic training at John Carroll University (in University Heights, Ohio), and his midshipman's training in Chicago, some of that on the USS Wilmette.  He was still at sea on a destroyer in the Pacific Ocean when World War II ended and never saw combat, but was part of the occupation forces. He was recalled to serve in Korea (as a lieutenant commander), where, on a frigate, he did get into some running gun battles with shore batteries off Korea.  He was then sent to the Pentagon.  He ended his Naval career as a commander in the reserves.

Bob and Fred met up in September 1952 in San Francisco, as Fred was heading to Mather Air Force Base outside Sacramento to ferry a B-26 to Korea, and Bob was heading back from Korea to the Pentagon.
Fred and Bob Pape, San Francisco, September 1952.
Photo provided by Terrie Pape Zitzelsberger.
The photo at right was taken outside the home of their mother's cousin, Henrietta Gauer (Mrs. Jack) Strible, who lived at 2435 Union.

When Fred found out he was going to be reassigned (around his 40th mission), he told Bob in a letter that he hoped he could return to Ellington as an instructor (most of the navigators he knew were being sent to a navigator training base in Brownsville, Texas).  Bob went over to the Air Force section in the Pentagon and talked to a colonel there.  The colonel just happened to have Fred's reassignment papers right in front of him, and when he asked Bob where Fred would like to go, Bob told him Ellington.

So Fred went back to Ellington after his Korean War service and was training other navigators there when he met my mom, Geraldine Guokas, a native Houstonian.

Thank goodness Bob (who is my godfather) was in the Pentagon at the right time - otherwise I might not be here today!

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

[Not-So-] Wordless Wednesday: Another Aunt Gret Watercolor

watercolor by Gretchen Reis Pape, 1939, photo courtesy Regina Szpak
My mom sent a letter to my cousin Regina, asking if they had any pictures by our Great Aunt Gretchen Reis Pape.  Mom thought that perhaps ones hanging in my grandparents' home might have passed down to Regina or her siblings, as our grandmother Elizabeth Massmann Pape lived with their family many years after our grandfather Paul Robert Pape Sr. died in 1970.

Regina posted this picture on Facebook, explaining, "I brought the letter that Aunt Gerrie sent me to [sister] Shelly's house to ask her or [sister] Ruth about it. They both remembered seeing some pictures that our Great Aunt Gret did. Shelly has this one hanging in her house. They aren't sure what happened to the others."  Our Aunt Betty, my dad's sister, says, "This isn't the one I had [hanging in her bedroom in the house on Lunt Avenue], but I do remember this one!"

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Texas State Genealogical Society Conference - Day 3

Today I attended the third and final day of the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) annual conference, held this year at the Riley Center in southwest Fort Worth.   Today's program consisted of four sessions by Curt Witcher, manager of The Genealogy Center of the Allen County (Indiana) Public Library (and also curator of the Rare and Fine Book Collection and their institutional archives).

Curt's first session was titled "An Ancestor's Death: A Time for Reaping," the point being that the potential for record generation is greatest at time of death.  One can glean an enormous amount of information and clues from obituaries, death notices, family Bibles, funeral home records and guest books, remembrance cards and service programs, church death records, monument company records, burial permits, cemetery plat maps, and of course tombstones, wills, and probate records. 

His second session was "Using Government Documents in Genealogical Research."  With our small collection of federal and state documents under my jurisdiction at work, I was interested in this session for work-related reasons.  Curt explained a little about the SuDoc system for organizing federal records (Texas uses a similar system for state documents), and discussed some indexes to them, both print and online.  He showed numerous examples of genealogical information that can be found in these records that go beyond the recording of births, deaths, and marriages.

The third session was called "Finding the World with WorldCat,' WorldCat.org being the largest bibliographic database in the world, online and free.  Being a librarian, I thought I was pretty familiar with WorldCat, but Curt provided some great tips for searching (for instance, add "family" after your surname and put both words within one set of quotation marks).  He also described a couple of features I did not know about (mostly because my use of WorldCat at work is primarily to look to see where the nearest library is that has the item I want that my library does not have, to determine if interlibrary loan is feasible).

One feature is the ability to create an account in WorldCat, and thus have a place to "store" your research record, create bibliographies and lists, and add notes, reviews, and tags to items.  Another feature (a result of creating an account) is the ability to add notes to items that might help future researchers - for example, the table of contents of a book, whether or not it's indexed by name or geographically, etc. - which can be particularly helpful if such information is not available in the bibliographic record.  Makes me want to do so with any unique item we might have in our genealogy collection at work (the local cemetery  transcriptions come to mind - listing which cemeteries are covered in which volumes).  Unfortunately, at the moment, any notes one adds aren't indexed and won't come up in WorldCat search results...maybe someday!

The final session of the day was called "Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery."  The description in the syllabus pretty well sums it up:  "an explanation and demonstration of how researching all the details of each ancestral family s well as the history surrounding the area can pay significant research dividends.  Histories of geographic areas, ethnic and religious groups, migration patterns, and occupations can provide the genealogist with important data as well as pointers to other information."

Curt said to pretend you need to write a 1000-word historical essay on a particular ancestor.  The first step is to focus on all the details of this single ancestor, by asking the journalist's who-what-when-where-why questions.  The second step is to focus analytical attention on all the documents that support the details of that particular ancestor - and he provided quite a long list!  He suggested setting up a matrix (pictured in the photo above) with local, state, and national along one axis, and published materials, unpublished materials, and government documents along another, and making sure you check locations that have each of these.

Step three is to evaluate the specific context in which you find your specific ancestor and ancestral family, followed by studying all the geographic histories of the target area.  Curt noted that the old fire safety adage "stop, drop, and roll" can be applied to geographic targeting:  stop your searching, drop to a specific geographic area where you found an ancestor, and "roll" around adjacent areas studying their history and looking for more relatives.

The final steps are to study all the ethnic histories that relate to your ancestor, and to check the neighbors, the topography, migration routes, and use timelines to place the ancestor/family in historical context.  Curt's presentation was illustrated by two detailed examples from his own family trees, and lots of suggestions for sources.

All in all, this was another brain-busting day in a mind-exploding conference.  I'm exhausted now, but I have lots of ideas on how I can improve access to genealogical and local history materials at work, and how to approach the brick walls in my own genealogical research.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Texas State Genealogical Society Conference - Day 2

Today I attended the second day of the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) annual conference, being held this year at the Riley Center in southwest Fort Worth.  Since I've recently been promoted at work to Coordinator of Archives and Special Services, and our archival collections include county records, I decided to attend a lot of sessions pertaining to that topic today (since my employer did give me the time to attend the conference yesterday and today).


Three of the five sessions I attended were by Teri E. Flack (pictured above), who is the chair of the TSGS Records Preservation and Access Committee, and the state's liaison to the same national-level committee.  I was especially interested in hearing her speak when I read in the program that she "volunteers at Texas State Archives on a project to preserve and make accessible to the public over 1,000 volumes of Galveston County Records from the 19th and 20th centuries."  Since my mother and I think her Guokas ancestors immigrated through Galveston, I'd love to know more about what's in these records.

The first session of Teri's I attended was called "Gone to Texas: Fundamentals of Texas Research."  This included a brief overview of the state's history with some pointers on how and why certain events affected settlement patterns and record-keeping.    For example, a state constitution adopted after the Civil War turned county government upside down, abolishing county courts (reinstated in 1876).  Delayed birth records came about due to the establishment of Social Security, as people needed to provide evidence of a date of birth for this program. This is (one reason) why you can find birth records for some people born in Texas prior to 1903, when the state began requiring birth records to be filed at the state level.  Teri talked about many other types of records available in Texas and where you can find them.

Teri was immediately followed by James Harkins, Director of Public Services for the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records Program.  He talked about "Genealogical Resources at the Texas General Land Office" - who should do research there, various land grant documents and how the land grant process worked, and what you might find among their various collections and maps.  He also demonstrated how to search their website, both for land grant information (and, in some cases, digitized images) and their mapping feature (which you can also use to find maps to purchase_.

I also attended Teri's session called "Dead Men Talking:  Finding Answers Using Probate and Estate Records."  Again, she went over the types of records that might be created in every step of the probate process, and where one might find them.  Both of the sessions were particularly useful to me, as I learned more about the county records I now manage, and how to help genealogical researchers find what they need.

The other presentation by Teri Flack that I attended, "Records:  Ensuring Preservation and Access," was really more of a group discussion than a presentation.  The Report on the Preservation of Historical Texas State Court Records, issued in August 2011 by the Texas Court Records Preservation Task Force, showed that many county officials don't know where some of these records are and/or what's in them.  Sometimes the county doesn't have the records (my university, a regional depository for microfilm records for a number of counties, also has, for example, many of the paper records for our local county, almost 400 volumes ranging from 1867 to 1967).  The group talked about some of the issues in preservation (loss through neglect, intentional destruction, theft, lack of funds, inadequate facilities) and access (privacy or security concerns, lack of staffing, misinterpretation of restrictions on specific records), and some of the things genealogists can do to help with these issues.  This was very enlightening.  Preservation of these records is important, not only for genealogy, but for Texas history too.

I rounded out my day with a session for my own edification (not work-related - I'll be making up for that with a session tomorrow).  I went to Debbie Parker Wayne's presentation on "Going Nuclear:  DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent."  She is the director of the TSGS DNA Project.  She explained, in a clear, comprehensible manner, autosomal DNA testing and how the results can be used.  I knew very little about the use of DNA testing in genealogy and wanted to learn more, so this session was very helpful to me.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Texas State Genealogical Society Conference - Day 1


Today I attended the first day of the Texas State Genealogical Society annual conference, being held this year at the Riley Center in southwest Fort Worth.  That's about as far from my home as my workplace is, so this was an easy drive for me.

I attended the (free!) librarians track, which opened with Curt Witcher, manager of The Genealogy Center of the Allen County (Indiana) Public Library (and also curator of the Rare and Fine Book Collection and their institutional archives) speaking on "The Best of Times - For Genealogists and Their Librarians."  Three takeaways from his talk:  1)  check out WeRelate.org, a "virtual vertical file" wiki, 2)  contribute your expertise on local area history and genealogical research to the FamilySearch wiki, and 3)  do at least two technology training programs at your library (I think he said per month).

Next was Sue Kaufman, current TSGS president and Manger of the  Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research of the Houston Public Library, whose talk was titled "Give 'Em What They Want:  Collection Development and Partnerships."  Regarding collection development, Sue said we don't have to have it all, but we need to know where to get it when our patrons need it.  Sue has also come up with some interesting (and successful) partnerships, including a clever one with the local animal shelter that ties animal pedigrees and human pedigrees (get it?).

I ate lunch with my practicum supervisor in library school, Kathleen Strauss, manager of the Special Collections Department of the Denton Public Library.  Afterwards, Sharon Perry Martin, former manager of the Dallas Public Library's awesome genealogy and Texas/Dallas history collections (she is now director of the University Park Public Library in Texas), described Dallas' unique collections and some of their organizational issues in "Is It Genealogy or is it History?  It's both!"  I could relate to this with the collections I manage.

Finally, Bill Buckner, manager of the Genealogy Center of the Waco-McLennan County Library, gave a very helpful talk called "Coping with the Ancestrally Challenged - Providing Service to Family History Researchers," with useful handouts and many tips.

There was also a (free) genealogy society leadership track today, as well as a morning and afternoon session on "Getting More from FamilySearch.org,"  ALSO FREE!  The latter will be repeated tomorrow (again, a morning session and an afternoon session, same thing in both), as well as a FREE "Getting Started" track tomorrow for beginning family researchers.  The latter will continue on Saturday.

It's also not too late to attend the paid sessions of the conference - walk-ins are welcome!  It's $45 per day or $75 for both days.  I'm looking forward to the sessions I'm planning to attend tomorrow.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.