Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My birthday is coming up, which always make me nostalgic for the "good old days" when parents and grandparents made a big deal out of your birthday.  My grandmother would always bake me one of my two favorite cakes, strawberry or angel food (not from a box mix), frosted with that sugary/gritty 7 Minute Frosting which is still my favorite to this day.

I thought I'd share a few of my birthday party snaps.  Don't laugh, you know you have these same photos.

My favorite, taken with my Grandpa Robertson:

I wish I was this skinny again:

You can see the theme here:  the decorations are those crunchy sugar things you get at the store:

I think I was trying to look sweet so I would get more presents:

Same year, with my Uncle Charlie sneaking into the picture:

Birthdays don't have the same glow any more, but it's fun to pull out the old photos and remember.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Uncommon Names

I've been adding cousins to my master database, in the hope I'll make more connections through Ancestry.  One of the things I've noticed is how many uncommon names there are.  Some of my favorite ancestor first names are:

Emilie (seems like a very French spelling of Emily)

A few of the more "out there" names I ran across are Zilphi, Euphrates, and Glaphney.

I love what I'll call the old-timey names:  Atheline, Purnetta, Minerva, Opal, Lulu, Abner, Beulah, Ida, Malvina, Thursa Ann, Essie, Lida Mae, Lessarah, Flossie, Daisy, and Rosetta.

I'd love to hear what your most unusual ancestor name is!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hello, Cousin Mike!

I received a lovely email yesterday from a long-lost cousin in California.   His mother and my grandmother were sisters.  Both have passed away, and our families unfortunately lost touch, as often happens.  Mike found me through this blog while searching for another sister of his mother and my grandmother.  Unfortunately, Aunt Helen had also passed away, but as luck would have it, I had posted a short blog entry about her on the one year anniversary of her death last year.  Mike was in town several years ago for his mother's funeral, but we didn't have time to exchange addresses and phone numbers.  I was thrilled to hear from him, and hope we can keep the connection alive!

Oh, and Mike and his family are part of the group peaking out from the top on my background picture on my main blog screen.     

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Love Volunteers!

A lovely volunteer genealogist for the Macoupin County (Illinois) Historical Society was kind enough to make a copy of an obituary I have been trying to track down for many years. Many thanks to Libby Klocke for her generosity.

The ancestor in question was Almira Baxter Allard, my husband's great-great-great grandmother. She was born in Massachusetts in 1803, a descendent of Mayflower immigrants. Below is her obituary in its entirety, transcribed here for others who might also be searching for information on Almira.

 [Obituary was published in the Carlinville (Illinois) Democrat, February 15, 1883.]

Died, at the residence of Mr. James K. Furber, her son-in-law, in this city, Sunday, Feb. 4, 1883, after a lingering illness of thirty-five days, Mrs. Almira Allard, aged 79 years, 4 months and 15 days. Mother Allard was born in Barnstable, Mass., Sept. 19, 1803, and her maiden name was Baxter. In 1821 or 1822 she was converted and united with the Baptist church at Providence, R.I., and shortly after was married to Ezekiel Wilbur, who died in 1826. She afterward married Lyman Allard, with whom she lived until his death in 1848. She was the mother of nine children, of whom four survive her - Mrs. Thomas J. VanDorn, of Bunker Hill; Mrs. William Hauck, of Red Wood, Minn., and Mrs. Henry Tappan and Mrs. J.K. Furber, of Carlinville, and the grandmother of thirty-three grandchildren, of whom, besides those of the above mentioned parents, who survive her are the children of Mrs. Charles Bellmer, of whom are Charles H., William E., Harry D. and Ida J. Bellmer, all of whom reside in this city, and Douglas Bellmer, who resides in Springfield, Ill, and Frank W. Bellmer, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mother Allard was the great-grandmother of nine children, three of whom are the children of Frank W. Bellmer of Cincinnati, Ohio; two the children of Mrs. Tonny Cleveland (nee VanDorn), now deceased; two the children of Mrs. Ed Ellet (nee VanDorn), of Eldorado, Kan., and one the child of William Bellmer of this city. Mother Allard came to Illinois in 1838 and her home has been in this county ever since, most of the time in the southern part, where she was well and favorably known. She was a consistent and devoted member of the Baptist Church for sixty-two years, and during all these more than three score years she has been a living exampler of the power of the Gospel of Christ in her life, in her death, in her all. She realized that her salvation was a present salvation. Her devotion to the church of her choice was untiring and unwavering. So long as her physical health permitted, she attended the prayer-meeting and was able and willing to give a reason for the hope she entertained of eternal life and blessedness at the right hand of the Father. Often has the writer of this sketch heard her earnest exhortations of the membership of the church to be earnest, zealous, and faithful in the discharge of duty. Nothing grieved her so much as the, at least apparent, want of spiritual life among the members, and nothing cheered and comforted her more than to see the development of spiritual life in her brethren and sisters. Never demonstrative, but always peaceful, during her last illness the hope she had so long cherished still sustained her. By faith she realized the fact that a mansion was prepared for her, and a crown of life and unfading glory awaited her. Wearied with the aches and pains of this life, with patience she looked forward to that rest that remains for the people of God, and like the Psalmist she could say: "As for me, I shall behold Thy face in the righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness." "Oh, happy saint, she dwells in light, And Walks with Jesus, clothed in white; Safe landed on that peaceful shore Where pilgrims meet to part no more."