Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Elizabeth Alexander

This is the tombstone of Elizabeth (Dewar) Alexander. She was the mother of Gilbert Alexander, who was the father of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. Elizabeth Alexander was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth was born in Canada to Duncan Dewar of Scotland and Anna Webb of New York (state). She was married to Henry Alexander November 7, 1867 in Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Irene Thelma and Betty Brassfield in 1927

This one was only captioned 1927. It is Irene Shirley Brassfield (1924-2010), Thelma Sarah (Hunt) Brassfield (1898-1976) and Betty Lucille Brassfield (1923-2003). This was taken after the move to Lake City, Iowa and other photos are also labeled "LC" so I have to guess it was taken in Lake City.

The Floyd Gipson Brassfield family rented the Middleton house on South Street in Lake City, Calhoun County, Iowa starting around 1926. I think they lived there until Spring 1946, moving to a farm a few miles north of Casey, Iowa in Thompson Township, Guthrie County before moving to Oregon in December 1950.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home in Cherokee, Iowa

Here's a photo of the house in Cherokee, Iowa where the Floyd Brassfield family lived for a few years in the 1920s starting around 1924 before moving to Lake City around 1926. The caption on the back says Cherokee 1925. Betty Lucille Brassfield (1923-2003) and her father, Floyd Gipson Brassfield (1898-1961) are posing in front of their home. There is also a dog in the photo, another photo labels the dog "Dick." Unfortunately, I have no information on the location of this home, except that it was near Cherokee.

In the album this photo is 4" x 2.5" so it's pretty hard to see what's going on. After scanning, I could tell that it was Betty in the photo, not Elvis. This is only 1/3 the size that I scanned, but you can still see some interesting details. There's a chicken in the photo, also there's a broom hanging outside the door on the right. By the door on the right there are some plants and several strings running from the ground to the roof. I'm guessing it must be some kind of climbing plant that probably climbed the strings during growing season. There is also something attached to the chimney, maybe some kind of lightning rod? No TV back then and I doubt it was radio related, so it pretty much has to be a lightning rod, right?

Interesting house, looks like it had a fireplace in the center and probably not many rooms. It looks pretty small, too and there were 5 members of the family at that time.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magic wand first test

Well, I couldn't resist so I bought a hand held scanning gadget called the VuPoint Magic Wand. It looks like it will work very well with genealogy and should be quite handy for scanning things you can't take home with you from the library, the court house or a family member's collection.

Here are two photos, one of the magic wand with a dreaded "magnetic" sticky photo album. The second is the very first scan I made with the device, straight out of the box, and without reading any instructions. I reduced the size to upload it by 25%. You can see from the image I didn't quite go in a straight line, it's a bit wavy, but it did I pretty good job. Even with the imperfections, I'd say it will work well for photos and even better for text, land records, etc. It won't replace my flatbed scanner while at home, but the portability will be a big help.

Some of the negative things so far are that it requires a micro SD card, but it doesn't include one. This is probably not that big of a deal, but it raises the initial cost a little bit. Luckily for me, Best Buy was practically giving micro SD cards away yesterday, so it wasn't a problem to find a low cost one.

Another disadvantage is that the surface has to be very smooth. It didn't work too well trying to scan over those old construction paper albums with the glue in corners that hold the photos in. Those corners seem to grab the scanner and you can't pull it across the page very evenly. The magic wand needs a fairly smooth surface, or you won't get very good results.

The main advantage to the magic wand is that you don't need a computer with you to make it work. However, I can see that it will be nice to bring a handheld device of some kind just to double check that the scans worked. I'd hate to scan for an hour at a court house and get home only to find out the scans didn't come out.

It's too early to tell if this is going to fully live up to expectations, but so far so good. It seems to be working as advertised and I'm sure it will come in handy.

The-gadgeteer had an excellent review and helped me research the purchase before hand.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Glen Bird Parker with car

Here's a photo of Glen Bird Parker (1899-1960). I don't have a date or caption for this photo so I'm guessing 1930 based on the number 30 on the license plate. (see World License plate page). Glen was the youngest son of Valois Denemore Parker and Anna Belle Wood. I am guessing his middle name of Bird came from Valois's sister's married name, Charlotte Temple Bird. She married civil war Captain J.N.P. Bird. Bird was a wounded veteran of the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, but I'll save that for another post.

A couple of interesting things in the background of this photo: the boxes piled up against the building say Westfield Bottling Company. On the top of the spare tire are the words "Fort Atki", which could mean that he bought the car in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

Glen is the youngest one in this photo I posted a few months ago. According to my notes, Glen died in December 1960 and was buried at Grace Chapel Church Cemetery, Lee County, North Carolina.

The connection to the Brassfield surname is that Glen's Grand niece (his brother Lloyd's Grand Daughter) married a Brassfield.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Henry Alexander

This is the tombstone of Henry Alexander. Henry was the father of Gilbert Alexander, who was the father of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. Henry Alexander was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Henry was born in Scotland. He married Elizabeth Dewar (1850-1916), who was born in Canada, November 7, 1867 in Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gilbert Alexander Family Photo

This is a group photo of the Alexander family of Marquette County, Wisconsin in the late 1920s or early 1930s. From left to right, Henry James Alexander (1906-1987), Vera (Alexander) Kemnitz (1905-1986), Glenn G. Alexander (1907-1971), Margaret (Maggie Haney) Alexander (1881-1939), Norma Elizabeth (Alexander) Parker (1902-1970) and Gilbert Alexander (1873-1959).

The connection to the Brassfield surname is Norma Elizabeth Alexander married Lloyd Ira Parker. Their Grand Daughter married a Brassfield.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Norma and Lloyd Parker with service flag

Here is a photo of Norma Elizabeth (Alexander) (1902-1970) and Lloyd Ira Parker (1895-1961) standing in front of their home in Westfield, Wisconsin during World War II. Behind them in the window is a service flag showing two blue stars, one star for each son in harms way overseas.

One of their two sons had a daughter that married a Brassfield, connecting with the theme of this blog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Long Lost Relatives.net: Tuesday's Tip: Safe removal of photos from magnetic album pages

I'm a little bit behind this week because of work, but I did see this article earlier in the week. Many of the albums I've been working with have the "magnetic" sticky material. Sometimes the photos fall right off and sometimes they don't. The video she links to shows removing the photo with dental floss, so that's a pretty interesting approach. Take a look if you want and please don't ever use those magnetic albums with sticky pages!

Long Lost Relatives.net: Tuesday's Tip: Safe removal of photos from magnetic album pages.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Gilbert Alexander

This is the tombstone of Gilbert Alexander, father of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. Gilbert Alexander was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Gilbert was born June 1873 in Wisconsin to Henry Alexander (1831-1899), who was born in Scotland and Elizabeth Dewar (1850-1916), who was born in Canada. Gilbert Alexander married Maggie Haney July 28, 1901.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Elvis and the chickens

Here's another photo of Elvis John Brassfield from the Brassfield Hunt memories album. It is not captioned, but looks like it is from the early 1920s on the ranch near Fairfax, South Dakota. A chicken pecks at some food in front of him and he is holding what appears to be either some kind of flowers or a small tree branch with leaves on it. I like the little chicken coop in the background, too.

Elvis John Brassfield (1920-2006) was the son of Thelma Sarah (Hunt) and Floyd Gipson Brassfield.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

WWII in HD — The Air War — History.com

Tonight I stumbled upon WWII in HD — The Air War — History.com, so I started to record it. I'm only 30 minutes into it out of two hours, but so far it's looking pretty interesting.

Elvis John Brassfield flew more than 30 missions over hostile territory and I think it gives an interesting, perspective into what he went through during the air war. He spent 8 months overseas starting around August 1944 flying in B-24s as an armorer-gunner. The photo at the right is of B-24's from his bomb group during the time he served. The program focuses on a time frame prior to when Elvis was over there and on B-17 bombers, but it still gives a glimpse at air combat of that time period. So keep that in mind if you chose to watch The Air War. It's narrated by Rob Lowe.

Be warned about the graphic footage of wounded, etc, so it's not suitable for the kids.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photo Effects

Randy at Genea-Musings blog has a regular feature called Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This week's fun was to try out samples of various photo effects and post a sample. Here's the link over to his blog:
Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photo Effects

This photo is cropped to show just Frank Brown Fowlie (1892-1977) from a group photo of Fowlie's from the mid-1920s. Frank looks super-serious in this particular photo and the look always struck me. The engraving photo effect makes it look like he belongs on a $50 dollar bill or something. The original photo looked like it could belong on a wanted poster or something, but I couldn't think of what he would be wanted for. Maybe he would be wanted for excessive use of that certain shade of green paint? It's probably been 50 years since he bought that paint and I bet there is still stuff laying around that has that color on it....

100th post

Iowa 100
Well, my first post here was on August 17, 2010 and this one will be my 100th post. Numerically it's somewhat of a milestone, but in reality the vast majority of posts have been photos without much detail. I still have some pictures left to post, but I have a mountain of photo albums to dig through and scan. Looks like I'll have to dust off the scanner and scan some more photos sometime, too.

I've chosen the Iowa State Highway 100 logo to mark the occasion since many of my posts are about Iowa. I have mixed feelings about the state of Iowa, it was home to many of my ancestors, but now it is a 330 mile obstacle that separates the family. Too bad it isn't 100 miles wide.

I'm not sure what posts will be favorites to others, but the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones that introduced new material and new stories I'd never heard. A recent example was the sad history of Joseph Fowlie and his 20 year stay in an insane asylum. Another interesting one was when I learned that Vilas Parker's remains were found more than 40 years after his plane crashed during World War II. Another one was learning the story of Frank Brassfield, a 3rd cousin to this line that was a hero in World War I. All the stories are light on details, but they provide a good overview.

I'm looking forward to telling at least 100 more stories and 100 more pictures.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blue Star - Serving our country

Here is another service flag. It is possibly from World War 2 and may have belonged to Elvis John Brassfield's parents. The material feels synthetic, so I don't know if it could be that old, but I also don't know of any more recent family members that this flag would apply to. It would be nice to have a bit more information on this artifact.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

Romagne-sous-Montfaucon - crossesWorld War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and after the war November 11th became a day of remembrance. Following World War II, November 11th became a day not just to remember World War I, but to honor all American veterans.

So on this day, I'd like to point out some of the veterans that I am connected to. The list is not complete, so I'm sorry if I've forgotten someone. Out of respect for privacy, I'm not going to mention veterans still living, but I am still grateful for their service.

All gave some, some gave all. The list is after the jump.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Medical Corps service flag

Here is a photo of a service flag labeled Medical Corps. I'm still looking for the back story behind this artifact. It came from the Elvis John Brassfield family, though I'm not sure who was in the medical corps and which war they served in.

If you should see one of these flags with a blue star hanging in a window, it means that household has a family member in harm's way. A gold star signifies that a family member died in service to the country.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Maggie Alexander

This is the tombstone of Maggie (Haney) Alexander, mother of Norma Elizabeth Alexander. Norma was the wife of Lloyd Ira Parker. She was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Maggie was born in 1881 in Wisconsin to James Haney (1842-1923), who was born in Canada and Minnie Polenske (1858-1895), who was born in Ireland. Maggie Haney married Gilbert Alexander (1873-1959) July 28, 1901.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Madness Monday - Joseph Fowlie

Joseph Fowlie was the uncle of Frank Brown Fowlie. Their common ancestors are George Fowlie and Margaret Cantley. Today I discovered his obituary from the Rockwell City Advocate on 25 March 1909, on an internet message board.

Joseph Fowlie was born in 1829 in Aberdeen, Scotland to Margaret (Cantley) and George Fowlie. He had at least nine siblings and many of them came to the US via Canada, then to Illinois and finally settling in Benton County and Calhoun County, Iowa. According to his obituary, Joseph was judged insane about 1890 near age 61. He was committed to a mental institution and in 1900 he was a patient at Iowa Hospital for the Insane at Independence in Buchanan County, Iowa, according to the US Census. I've ridden past the hospital on US20 many times over the years and have been intrigued by it, now it seems I have a sad family connection to the facility. It will certainly change the way I look at it next time I drive past.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lake Creek Cemetery, Cahoun County, Iowa

Cemetery template
This post is to help me prepare for a potential future trip to Lake Creek Cemetery, Lake Creek Township, Calhoun County, Iowa. I have some notes and there are a few transcriptions available online as well.

More after the jump...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Iowa

Cemetery template
This post is to help me prepare for a potential future trip to Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Iowa. I have some notes and there are a few transcriptions available online as well.

Interestingly, there are two cemeteries with similar names in Calhoun County, Iowa. Rosehill Cemetery in Rockwell City and Rose Hill Cemetery in Manson. I believe the majority of the graves I am interested in are located in Rockwell City, but there is potential for confusion in my notes since Manson, Iowa is not too far away. There are some Ross and Fowlie surnames at Rose Hill, so it might be woth a trip there as well.
The list is after the jump...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mary (Stotler) Ross and her daughter Clara

This photo appears to have been shot around the same time as Tuesday's photo, the early to mid 1920s. It is Mary Hay (Stotler) Ross and her daughter Clara Bernice (Ross) Fowlie. Clara was born June 1, 1897 and Mary (Stotler) was born January 27, 1864 putting Clara in her mid to late 20s and Mary in her late 50s. Both would reach their mid-90s.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3rd birthdays

Nuvola apps cookie
According to my notes, a couple of birthdays occurred today. Howard Hunt, brother of Thelma Sarah Hunt, was born November 3, 1907. Arnold Schauer, father of June Schauer, was born November 3, 1894.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frank and Clara

This is a photo of Frank and Clara (Ross) Fowlie. It dates to the early or mid 1920s. Frank Brown Fowlie was born September 19, 1892 and Clara Bernice Ross was born  June 1, 1897, so Frank was around 30 in this photo and Clara was around 25.

Their connection tho the Brassfield surname is that their daughter married Elvis John Brassfield.

Monday, November 1, 2010

An interesting group photo

This group photo was in the Brassfield-Hunt memories album. Unfortunately it is not captioned. It appears to have Nellie Belle (Bates) Brassfield in the back row, left side. Another photo labels the man in front of her as her husband Elvis H. Brassfield. I hate to dispute that, but the man to the right of her seems to greatly resemble her son Floyd, so my first guess for Elvis H. would have been the man to the right of Nellie. See yesterday's photo and compare for yourself. Nellie and Elvis had 3 sons, Clarence, Floyd and Adrian. Elvis H. Brassfield died in 1904 and Adrian Brassfield was born in 1902, so that could be Elvis H. at left with Adrian on his lap, but it's all guesswork at this point.

Maybe this photo is some of the Bates relatives. I still have photo albums to look through, so I'll keep trying to figure out who is who.

On a side note, I'd like to point out that on November 1, 1873, Nellie Belle Bates was born in Sergeant Bluff, Woodbury County, Iowa.