Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 6 - Santa Claus
Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

I still believe in Santa and of course I visited Santa, made lists and wrote letters

December 7 - Holiday Parties
Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?

Christmas Day was all family parties and exhausting. We children always got up early and opened presents. Then it was off to one side of the family to celebrate, followed by the Christmas party at the other side of the family. I refused to do this when I grew up.

December 8 - Christmas Cookies
Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

I never met a cookie I didn't like.... Mexican wedding cookies were always a favorite. Of course rolled cookies cut out with cookie cutters and decorated were a must at Christmas time. I carried on the tradition by baking dozens of these cookies on the last day the kids were in school. After everyone arrived home, the whole family gathered around the kitchen table and decorated the cookies with many colors of icing and lots of candies.

December 9 - Grab Bag
Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

I have a funny story. When my son and daughter, Eddie & April came to me asking if Santa was real, I wasn't ready to give up Santa and they had a baby sister, Amber who still needed Santa. So, I told them their suspicions were right, but that Dad doesn't know. You know Grandma. She would never have told your Dad about Santa. So all these years I have had to sneak around and do Santas job by myself and now I had them to help me. What a relief! So the legend of Santa lived on awhile longer. (I do still believe in Santa.)

December 10 - Christmas Gifts
What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?

Secret gifts, ones that the person doesn't expect, but wants dearly and doesn't know who gave it. That is truly a blessing to behold. Of course the traditional bicycle, dolls, doll houses were fun to receive as a child and fun to give to children.

Geneablogger’s Advent Calendar

It has been a very busy month for us with Ed going through major surgery, so I have not kept up with the Geneablogger’s Advent Calendar. I thought maybe I could play catch up now that things are settling down a little bit.

December 1, The Christmas Tree
Growing up, our Christmas trees were live, flocked trees. My paternal grandmother, Pauline DeMotte Smith, made Christmas centerpieces and flocked trees for the holiday. Many local businesses bought flocked trees from her every year. They had very thick flocking in a number of sparkley pastel colors. My dad would often help her with the flocking which required wearing a mask to protect the lungs. Grandma Pauline had taller ceilings and she would always flock a larger tree for her home, usually in a white or pastel blue with blue spotlights on the tree rather than strung lights and blue and silver glass balls.The year Grandma died in 1968, Grandpa bought one of those awful aluminum trees. We all knew Grandma would be turning over in her grave! My Grandma Rioth always had a real tree with tinsel, old favorite ornaments, bubble lights and candy canes. I even remember her having lit candles on the tree sometimes in remembrance of the days they did that.

December 2 - Holiday Foods
Did your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that was unusual?
Basically, it was pretty traditional. One thing that was unusual for the time, was that Aunt Mildred would bring pomegranates from Chicago area. They were something we never saw in stores here when I was growing up.

December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments
Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?
The most special thing I remember was the bubble lights. Over the years, I have bought some of the Hallmark motion ornaments. And yes, we did string popcorn and cranberries.

December 4 - Christmas Cards
Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

Yes, our family sent Christmas Cards and displayed them. I rarely send them. I often have good intentions of sending them, but... I don't have any cards from my ancestors. My dad has collected Christmas postcards and has some really beautiful ones.
I would love to post a photo, but my computer is down so can't use the scanner either.

December 5 - Outdoor Decorations
Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating? Any stories involving your ancestors and decorations?

We aren't too much for outdoor decorations. Mom and Dad used to hang a big lighted Santa Face on the front door and one year when the December weather was very mild, I draped the bushes in front of our house with white lights. I enjoyed that very much, but hubby really wasn't on board with it. Our neighbor across the road has tons of lights this year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Peru Mount Hope New Additions

In the past 3 weeks I have uploaded 2 updates representing a total of 435 new entries and about the same amount of updated entries. I just finished the Oak Grove/section D book. I believe there is a book with later burials for this section as well. There are 247 lots in section D. Most have 10 graves. And the majority of burial are in the period from 1890-1920.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Battle of Buckton Station

Week #36: Talk about military battles and your ancestors’ connections to them.

Andrew Jackson Vest, was my great-great-grandfather. On September 11, 1861 (exactly 148 years ago) he enlisted in the US Army as a private in Company B of the 27th Regiment Indiana Infantry.
He was captured at Buckton Station and imprisoned at Lynchburg & Belle Isle, Virginia.

This Battle found many Union soldiers wounded and captured including my ancestor. I wish I had a photo of Andrew J. Vest. He lived to be 83 years old.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Ethnicity

I saw this August 8, 2009 post on Cheryl Fleming Palmer's Blog "Heritage Happens." It was about ethnicity and calculating ones ethnicity by looking at your 8 great grandparents' ethnicity and giving each a value of 12.5%. This works with relative newcomers to the USA, however, 7 of my 8 great grandparents were born in Indiana.

  • 3 - Howard County
  • 1 - Miami County
  • 1 - Clinton County
  • 1 - Pike County
  • 1 - Daviess County
  • 1 Bas-Rhin, France

So, that would mean I have 12.5% French

Aside from that French line, the next generation back, great-great grandparents were born -

  • Indiana - 7
  • Virginia - 4
  • Ohio - 2
  • North Carolina - 1

So no new ethnicity to add in that generation.

The next generation is no better in revealing ethnicity. (3rd great grandparents)

  • Virginia - 10
  • Pennsylvania - 6
  • Kentucky - 5
  • North Carolina - 4
  • Indiana - 1
  • unknown (US) 1
  • Tennessee - 1
  • Maryland - 1
The previous generation (4th great grandparents) reveal some German, Swiss, a Scot and an Irish. I still have many things to discover about many of these ancestors and find the immigrant and document it. Although this little experiment did not give me the results I was hoping for, it did reveal some areas I need to work on.

What is your ethnicity? Try this and learn or be satisfied that you are an American of the Heinz 57 variety.

Happy hunting! Debby

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I uploaded over 300 new entries to the Peru Mount Hope site last week. I continue to work on adding from the burial books. The recent additions are burials from Section D and most are not later than the 1920's. Most are pre-1900.


My silence

This has become a difficult summer for me. I became the economic cut-back in Kokomo-Howard County Public Library's Genealogy & Local History Department. I learned this on July 16th. I have shed many tears, as I loved this job and being emersed in genealogy & local history and working with the wonderful folks who call themselves genealogists and historians.

I do count myself among the fortunate people who have been able to find a job doing something we love. I miss it terribly, but I know whatever happens, God is with me.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Peru Mount Hope database has 500 burials added

With this evenings upload of updated pages, I have added over 500 burials to the database since the June 11th upload. There are many new surnames and lots of dates of burial that were in the cemetery burial books. If you have any connection to Peru, Indiana you will want to take a look at the Mount Hope Cemetery database.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grandpa Rioth was a cooper

My grandfather, Frank Ernest Rioth, worked as a cooper (barrel maker) at the Continental Steel Mill in Kokomo, Indiana in the 1930s. He is standing, second from the right.

I am posting this as a participant in Blog Carnival 15th Edition for Geneabloggers

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cemetery updates

I have been busily adding burials from the Peru Mount Hope burial books. Tonight's update adds about 700 burials to the Mount Hope database. Hope this info will help someone break through a brick wall!

I received photos of Center UB Cemetery tombstones yesterday, so sometime in the future, I will be posting about adding them to the Cass County Cemetery data. Photos are by Patrick Jackson. Thanks, Pat!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Peru Mount Hope Obits added

I added over 500 new obits today and over 200 "new and improved obits" from the collection of recent obits we digitized from Mount Hope files. These are all from the past 8-10 years. I plan to enter the interments in the Mausoleum next, then I will continue adding burials from the early sections of the cemetery including Oak Grove area.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Peru Mount Hope Additions

I just uploaded a new version of Peru Mount Hope with 482 additional burials and lots of dates and locations filled in as well. There is lots more to come.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #19

My favorite genealogy repository is Kokomo-Howard County Public Library's Genealogy and Local History Department. This is where I work. We have friendly and knowledgable service, a book collection of over 13,000 books, clipping files, microfilm of newspapers, court records, WPA Vital Record indexes for Indiana and much, much more. Please come visit when you are in the neighborhood.

We also provide online databases for use in-house - Ancestry Library . com, footnote.com; as well as Heritage Quest for library card holders both at home and at the library and Kokomo Newspaper Archive is available by visiting the Genealogy Department Webpage and following the instructions.

Due to the upcoming remodeling project, we will be closed while we move the collection and set it up at the new temporary location (TBA). I expect this will be sometime in mid to late July until mid to late August.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Peru Mount Hope Update

Nearly 2 weeks ago I was contactly by Beverly Jeffers, sexton of Peru Mount Hope Cemetery, with an offer of information for the website. Since Ed and I have a passion for cemetery information and honoring & remembering those who have gone before us, we were happy to have this opportunity.

The next day, we drove to Peru to meet Bev and see what was available. We had our trusty digital camera and fresh batteries ready. We started taking digital photos of the burial books. Bev showed us some of the areas on the cemetery map including the original plat, Oak Grove, baby rows and sections, Potters Field and a Jewish area. There is also a circus area as Peru has a rich history of circuses and performers. This will allowed for a bit more detail in the mapping on the site in the future.

In the past two weeks we have taken 4 trips to take digital photos of the burial books and a collection of obituaries and burial cards from about 2002 to the present. All of this information will be added to the site as time allows. I also have 3000 tombstone photos taken by Regine Brindle waiting to be matched. I believe that having the data in the database will be very helpful to matching photos of the very old and worn stones in the original and Oak Grove areas.

Watch for frequent updates.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Logansport Mount Hope Cemetery

I uploaded updated pages for Mount Hope including a few hundred photos and a few dozen obits. I have been tweaking several smaller cemetery pages including Patterson Cemetery (Jackson Twp. Cass Co, IN) and Mays (Miami Co/Cass Co. line northeast of Onward).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I finished updating the Crider Chapel Cemetery web this evening. Ricky Bellamy sent me tombstone photos recently. Many thanks to Ricky! I have also added obituaries to a little over 1/4 of the known burials. Happy hunting!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Disenfranchised Ancestors?

Most of us likely have some disenfranchised ancestors. These are people who may not have been accepted into the mainstream of society or even were not accepted my their own relatives. Awhile back I learned that a great-granduncle had a daughter who was termed an "imbecile." According to my aunt, she was secreted away in a padded room upstairs in the family home. I find no record of her existance. When she died there was no known written death record. There was no obituary in the local newspaper. Although the woman had no decendants, she still had a place and purpose on this earth.

In the spirit of giving each soul importance on this earth, I have been compiling with the help of Mark Brubaker a couple of small databases.

It is my hope that these databases will help someone break through their brick wall. Debby

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cemeteries for Cass, Howard & Miami Counties

Cemeteries of Cass County, IN

Cemeteries of Howard County, IN

Cemeteries of Miami County, IN

You will find burial listings, tombstone photos and obituaries at these sites.

Shiloh Cemetery Update - Howard Co., IN

Visit Shiloh Cemetery at:

I uploaded the update with 437 obituaries and death notices yesterday and I am hoping many will find it helpful to their search.

My big brick wall

My most annoying brick wall concerns a set of great-great grandparents, Thomas Jackson POLK and his wife Sophia (HARNESS).

Thomas J. was born 20 Feb1830 in Botetourt Co., VA to Joseph and Catherine (BECKNER) POLK.
Sophia (HARNESS) POLK was born 14 Oct 1828 in Clinton Co., IN to George W. and Harriet (SOWARDS) HARNESS.

They married 28 Nov 1852 in Carroll Co., IN

In 1860, they were living in Ervin Township, Howard Co., IN, where they also lived in 1870 & 1880. They had 10 children, however 5 died in infancy. They five infants are interred in Bell Mound Cemetery, Ervin township, Howard Co., IN. Thomas' parents are also interred in the same lot.

There is no death record in Howard County of either Thomas J. or Sophia Polk, but both signed a deed tranfer to son-in-law, Edward M. Rioth on 10 Aug 1886. On 24 Sep 1887, Edward M and Martha J Rioth sell land to only Sophiah Polk, leading me to believe that Thomas has died in the interim. On 11 Feb 1889 that piece of land is sold at delinquent tax sale to James D Johnson. Document states land returned delinquent in the name of Sophia Polk etal. The etal part makes me wonder if Sophia has died at that point in time.

I have been unable to locate an obituary for either. I have run into many descendants of this couple, however, no one has found any information about the deaths of either. I descend through Edward M and Martha J (POLK) RIOTH. Any help would be appreciated.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recent website additions March 24th

This week I added photos and an update to Cass County Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery - http://incass-inmiami.org/cass/cemeteries/bthlhmme/ Mark Brubaker is the photographer. Thanks Mark for all the time and resources you spent on this project.