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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Purple Discovery

What's interesting is that in our part of the world we are having very cool mornings and cool evenings and in between close to hot . . .

We are having an explosion of floral displays and (we're old) it is quite fun to watch. Yesterday we sat and watched a solitary bee working the "California Poppies".  Shortly later a solitary Hummingbird came to "work" the geraniums. What's next -- well the bird feeder is increasingly being depleted more rapidly.

Click on the above to get a closer view of the brilliant purple -- what is interesting also is that these flowers open some days and remain closed on others -- we do not know the rhythm nor the reason.

The above flowers are by the front porch and most of the flowers there are purple or white with a few exceptions. This week we actually got up enough gumption to "fix" one of the faster growing plants:

The left picture shows the "Oleander Tree Bush" and the right picture doesn't . . . the Oleander was about 4 years old but far outpaced the rest of the plants AND began to restrict our view to the front street. Much more to our liking now.

The Search This Week

I was again "all-over" the board while searching for "stuff" relating to our family. One of the fun things to do I've found is to search old newspapers. In this case I already had a clipping -- or should I say Gail already had a clipping.

While examining the clipping we discovered something that we had not noticed earlier -- i.e. there are two of Gail's relatives in the 50 year class reunion of the Kent 1915 graduating class.

Originally we had only spotted Frank Bouldron -- and then upon reading the detail we spotted Sadie Calhoun. They are Gail's Great Uncle and her Great Aunt, respectively. It's a small world ...

Continuing Communication re The Stacey William Hiles Branch

It has been great this week talking back and forth with Jim and getting to know more about his family. He has had a chance to view the Hiles Website and has offered additions and corrections which we really appreciate.

In our earlier post it all started with Stacey William Hiles (Rev) and his family. Since then we have gotten to know much more.

Above are some photos that Jim sent and they are of all the kids (6) that Stacey & Estelle had along with a possible picture of Edward & Hannah Hiles who would be the Grandparents of Stacey.

There are others posted on the Hiles Website and hopefully even more in the coming posts.

What is Now on our Nightstand?

We have finished reading the novel by Fannie Flagg -- and that was fun. We are now doing a multi-book try . . .

We are reading non-fiction again and the first book "a Boat, a Whale & a Walrus" is a combination recipe and story book. It all takes place in Seattle by a woman who owns and operates four restaurants there.

It is really fun to read and hopefully on our next trip to Seattle we will visit at least one of the  restaurants. This was a gift from Lisa & Bob on Mother's Day.

The other book is -- back to the biographical -- about the life of Shirley Temple. The opening chapters though are very much about Franklin D Roosevelt which sets up the scenario of living in the "Great Depression". We are finding it too very interesting.


Our town has already had it's multi-hour Memorial Day parade and the annual "fair" is in full swing at this moment.

The weather has cooperated and it "feels" like a four-day weekend.

And that is a bit of our week -- see you all in a few!!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Prediction -- Rain

Just not in our area . . . all week they have predicted that Northern California would receive some rainfall -- but it did not happen in our area. Maybe next week. Water is now a real issue and restrictions are being put into place.

The above "Wordle" displays some of the jumble of genealogical things going on this past week. It has been a flurry of activity -- again.

We did celebrate Mother's Day last week in a
quiet fashion. Some calls, some visitors and a
very nice dinner.

And as soon as we finish our current reading
we have ample material to begin with new directions.

The sunshine and moderate temperatures were

Where I Was (45 years ago)

I happened across this picture the other day in my collection and it was odd that almost exactly 45 years to the date I was looking at it.

We were staying in the Hilton Hawaiian Towers on a ten-day visit to four different islands.

It was a fantastic trip and it still feels almost like yesterday.

The magic of the trip continued after our return.

The Search this Week

In last week's post I mentioned "finding" Rev Stacey Hiles
and a few details about his family.

I even mentioned that it would be nice to "find" some of his
descendants and maybe even communicate with them.

Well,  (thank you, Lora) I was able to "meet" and communicate with James Edward Hiles a Grandson of Stacey
and a cousin of mine.

Jim and I had a great time emailing back and forth and even talked on the phone a bit.

I look forward to learning more about his great branch. And I found it interesting that our paths may have even crossed at some point. He made several business trips to Seattle while I lived there.

To the left is a collage showing many of the pictures that I received from Jim, and a couple of items that I spotted in old newspapers.

I have found a lot of bits and pieces in the papers and will try to get them placed on the Hiles website.

I am working on updating profile photos on the website as time permits. But it sure is fun!


I mentioned to Jim that I had purchased the sign
on the right on eBay a few years ago.

I won the bidding and now the sign hangs outside in the backyard.

Someone probably knows the origin and to what Hiles branch it belongs.

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

That is a peek at our week -- I am busily working on the "new-look" Ancestry site, it is really a nice update!   See you all in a few!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Another Little Princess

There used to be a chain of discount stores in California named "White Front". They are long gone but the front of our house has a lot of white right now. We have hundreds of white roses and other flower varieties going on.

We have noticed several folks just stopping as they walk by to comment on the display. We may take out the white oleanders as they are getting too leggy -- but will replace them with some other white flowering plant.

The cycle always amazes us as the flowers come and go.

The Search This Week

I have been deep into a branch of Hiles cousins that seem to have a ton of newspaper articles written about their everyday life. Births, marriages, deaths, military duties and school activities abound for this group.

But I'll just mention a bit about one of them for the moment:  Reverand Stacey William Hiles

To the right you can see his Find-a-Grave memorial.

Stacey was a minister in the Evangelical United Brethren Church in various locations in Ohio.

Unfortunately he died young -- of a stroke. He was returning from a Christmas visit with one of his sons and family when while driving it hit him.

He and his wife had six children, four of whom lived past childhood. There are numerous newspaper references to him and to his children.

Warden R Hiles was his youngest child and lived over 70 years.

He was married with a family as well. He lived til 1992 and his wife lived until 2010.

We'll look at some of Stacey's other children in future posts.

To me it is astounding that in growing up none of these cousins were known to me.

I had no idea that there were so many HILES
living relatively close to our family.

On the right is a brief look at a relationship

It points out how Stacey and his family are
related to me and thus to you.

I hope to eventually find some currently living
Stacey relatives and even communicate with them.

Right now I am sorting through the many articles that I have seen in a lot of small town Ohio newspapers.

Thank you &

Second Week for another "Little Princess"

Last week we posted about the "Little Princess" by Dina Artlip. This week we have another princess to report about.

Thanks to Dick Eastman at for the following:

It is hard to believe that the birth certificate for such a royal person would be so straight forward and simple.

It was good timing that Dina's "Little Princess" book was released just about a week before this second little princess was "released".

Even though royalty is not officially recognized here it is fun to keep track of some of the line.

The world needs more events like the above rather than much of what we see on the evening news.

Speaking of baseball . . . the Giants have done fairly well lately . . .

That is a glimpse of our week so far -- see you all "in a few".

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick Mid-Week Peek

April is just about gone with May coming tomorrow. Unfortunately the song "April Showers" doesn't apply to us here in Northern California . . . we may have had one or two showers this month . . .

This was though an evening view of the western sky from our back deck. The red sky at night, sailor's delight was accurate in that we had no stormy weather the next day.

Private Dining

A nice quiet lunch for Gail & Silvia last week. Dino looked for "crumbs".

The tulips were beautiful and they did last about a week before curling over the vase . . .

We plan to use the arbor setting for other quiet lunches this summer.

Search This Week

I've been in many branches this week, but the obituary shown to the left is one for my Great Aunt, Martha Ann Bumgardner.

She was the sister of my Great Grandfather, Charles Stuart Bumgardner.

The Find-a-Grave memorial gives some of the detail of her life -- she married William L Butler and had many children.

My Mother always would say that there were a lot of Butler, Rankin & Rider families connected to the Bumgardners -- this is just one of them.

My next trip to Iowa, I plan to visit some of the many other cemeteries that I have found to contain relatives.

And an addition to the Nightstand . . .

Imagine our delight when we added a newly purchased book,
shown to the right, to our current reading.

What makes it special is that someone from our "tree" wrote and published this book.

Dina Fregoso Artlip, sister-in-law to my nephew wrote and illustrated this very nice book.

It is suitable especially for families with young siblings that have a young girl with a slightly older brother.

We recognized both Jacob & Madelyn as the stars of this story and look forward to the promised future books as well.

This book is available at both Amazon & Createspace, the links are:

Little Princess or Little Princess

Well worth having and sharing! Way to go Dina!

That's a peek at our week, so far.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

♫ Saturday, In The Back ♪

We thought it was the 4th of July odd that it was so nice out . . . so early in the season. Mid April and it could have been mid-summer in other locales. If it were not for the drought it would be so nice.

We've taken to hand watering most of the above and so far it seems to be working. We have found it enjoyable to sit in the back now . . .

So, Now What is on our Nightstand?

We have finished our most recent biography type book -- Al Michaels -- we enjoyed that with all the stories of big-time broadcasting and all, but we have opted to stray from our usual format and have chosen a "novel" for the first time.

Fannie Flagg of "Fried Green Tomatoes" fame has released a book that sounded interesting.

The cover evoked a by-gone era of auto service and down-home lore. In actuality, it fits our interest too in that it deals a lot with genealogy as well.

The story starts out with "Sookie", and her husband Earle. They are almost empty-nesters having just married off their daughters and have a son to go.

The twist begins when Sookie is told that after all these years she is really adopted and not who she thinks she is . . .

We look forward to finding out how  this all plays out.

Webinar Stuff in April

April has been a very active month -- so far -- for webinars at Legacy.

There have been already nine webinars that I have listened to/watched this month.

And as usual I have learned from each one. Even when the topic doesn't seem to fit my needs, something is revealed that will assist me in the search.

And, there is one more April webinar coming up this month.

The webinars help to define my day and even though I can always view them in their recorded format -- I enjoy the live performances best.

Besides, the door prizes are awarded to those at the live shows.

A Peek into the Searching . . .

Last post I resounded with joy at finding a "Griswold" family in our tree and the hopes that it would lead to the famous "Griswold Family Reunion" . . .

This week I uncovered another "Griswold" only this one was a "given-name" Griswold, Griswold Gillett. Who knew.

Griswold Gillett is a distant relative and you can see the connection off to the right -- I am hard pressed to follow it all . . .

I have spent a ton of time on the Gilletts and it still baffles me how some have the Gillett name without the ending "e" and those that have the ending "e" even when they did not start out with it . . .

But Griswold Gillett served in the War of 1812 and while born in Massachusettes ended up in Tomah, Wisconsin. (been there).

His picture, above, was taken in 1862, according to Anne Gillette who originally displayed the photo.

There is a lot more to the Gillett(e) story.

Currently, Our Other Entertainment

We love watching sports on TV -- mostly NFL games, but since those are over for the season and thankfully so, it is back to MLB games.

We enjoy watching the development of the San Francisco Giant's squad each year. This year there are so many changes -- most noticeably Pablo Sandoval who fled to the Red Sox and players like Morse that I am not sure where he went.

But -- even though SF Giants are the reigning World Series Champs and the images of the individual players celebrating that victory are present in my mind -- it seems to me that some of the players have not bathed since that time of celebration -- they know who they are . . . except for Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum at the beginning of this season looked as though he was a member of the no-groom group until this last week:

Tim, shown on the right after getting a new "do" AND he easily won the next game that he pitched. Is there a connection. It seems that several players could again look like  role models and maybe perform better on the field as well.

The box scores above certainly indicate that the Giants are in the bottom. Hopefully that will change and give us fans something to enjoy as we watch each game. And it would be nice not to have to see unkempt and what appears to be unwashed hair straggling out beneath the caps . . .

That is a bit of our week, see you all in a few!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A New Look

I'll probably be late next week as well . . . for a variety of reasons this post is being written later than usual. I think I'll attempt to shake things up and write and post more often with shorter posts.

This is what spring looked like to us on Saturday . . . a very pleasant day. And the pleasantness of the day inspired thoughts of dinner and then "Don't Cook Tonight, Call Chicken Delight" . . .

Growing up in Illinois in the 1950s -- we could call "Chicken Delight" but not here, today. So we did the next best thing -- we drove several miles to the closest KFC and got a bucket along with some cole slaw.

We then watched the San Francisco Giants game against the San Diego Padres. The game was a rout. The Padres won 10-2. It's early . . . but the chicken was sooo tasty!

Some Research this Week

Earlier this week I was fully engaged in researching in the Gillett branch. I started because I wanted to see if I could find a picture of Emily Adeline Gillett -- my Great Grandmother married to John Hiles. But I did not find a picture of either -- but I am sure some exist somewhere.

But, as usual, my original search turned into one of endless connections and the discovery of surnames that I had no-idea were in my tree.

Names e.g. "Pratt", "Phelps", "Clink", "Boyce",
"Sparks", "Call", "Smith", "Boardway" and many others.

These additional surnames come about due to marriages and there were plenty of those.

Somehow I ended up discovering a new 2nd cousin, Edna I Sleeper.

So "Sleeper" was yet another surname that I had heretofore not known about.

So the week was going well, I was lost inside of research and making no real progress but enjoying every bit of it.

But the real discovery came a few minutes later when I found out the name of the person that Edna married.

The surname that I uncovered caused me to "pause" a bit and reflect on the possibilities.

It would mean taking the research into a totally different direction . . .

So -- Edna married a GRISWOLD, Joseph Gillman Griswold Jr.

I haven't proven it yet -- by Clark W Griswold is the Grandson of Joseph.

So there you have it -- the making of a huge "Griswold Family Reunion" that would include the Hiles branch . . .


Earlier this week we watched and enjoyed this week's featured person -- Tony Goldwyn.

While we watched Tony traveled to various places in the country -- we at one point felt a connection.

Tony's 3rd Great Grandfather, Nathaniel Coe was appointed the Post Office Official in Oregon by none other than Gail's 2nd Cousin, Millard Fillmore.

The ties that are uncovered in history are fun to see unfold as stories like Tony's are shown.

And that was a bit of our week . . . see you all in a few!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Blooms Spring Moon

A varied and eventful week! Again we had a visitor from the NW and a nice visit too getting caught up about friends and family. Last night, between 3 am and 4am I snuck a peek at the total moon eclipse and could see it from our back window.

And the blooms are everywhere! We are going to actually plant even more blooms in the coming weeks. We are planning to convert the former vegetable garden to a flower garden.

The moon was interesting last night and almost looked "striped" at one point. We are lucky in that we have nice views of the sky here in this house -- our previous home was surrounded with huge oak trees which were beautiful but their umbrella-like coverage only let in small pieces of the sky.

And going back to the previous home in San Francisco, due to fog, very little of the actual sky came through visibly.

Speaking of Vision

At our time of life, vision can be an issue. Especially if your hobby taxes your ability to see tiny pieces of your work,

Gail needle points a lot and has many many examples of her work around the house. Lately she had taken to using two magnifiers and a bright light to aid in working on the intricate details.

But now, two days ago she received her Craft Optics lenses that she wears just like her glasses and is able to "see" her work comfortably.

These telescopic lenses look similar to the glasses that I've seen surgeons wear. They do take getting used to but so far they are doing what they should do.

The glasses come with a new pair of prescription lenses made from Gail's most recent prescription and the telescopes are positioned in front of them.

The high intensity light is an extra but we think a must-have. Very slick set and for her hobby work very much appreciated -- unfortunately the needlepoint that she just started is a "large" scale version that really does not require as much magnification. But she has plenty small scale pieces coming up.

And the Herb Gardening

About every three days we have to "harvest" our indoor herbs. It is amazing that they grow and continue to grow so much.

We now have our drier positioned next to them and as we harvest -- we dry.

I can see why herbs are so expensive in the store because after you dry these herbs, they shrink down next to nothing . . .

We have a nice set of herb jars labelled and ready for production -- it will take some doing to fill them. But we enjoy the farming . . . whether we ever enjoy the produce, that's another story.

Thanks Cousin(s)!

This week, in GENi I saw that Melissa Guensler found out how she was related to both our first president and to our latest president.

Well, since Melissa is my (our) second cousin then that means I too must be related to those same presidents.

Melissa Shumaker Guensler is the granddaughter of Harold & Nettie Hiles and her mother is Iris Hiles. Any one can check in GENi  to see how they might be related as well.

So, I did check:

Above, you can follow the paths to see how I am related to George Washington and how I am related to Barack Obama (per GENi).

Melissa and I are related to these presidents in the same way which is not surprising. Any of the rest of you are probably related in the same way depending on how you are related to me (or Melissa).

Thanks to another Cousin!

Thank goodness for Cousins.  Because I receive some really good ideas and tips from many of them.
As a matter of fact, cousins are really the only relatives of mine that I receive much feed back from.
And the interesting thing is that before working on this blog or on genealogy, I did not even know most of them (the ones that I hear from).

Last post, I had mentioned that I was looking for the connection of our family to the presidential Harrisons. At that time I only found one Harrison in our tree but it came in a branch that I was not expecting -- my paternal side (Hiles) as opposed to my maternal side (Bumgardner).

I identified Louisa Harrison as marrying Jeremiah Hiles and so I was going to climb that Harrison branch in hopes of finding the link.

But things have changed:

Thanks to another cousin (you know who you are) I was sent the above marriage information for Jeremiah & Louisa HARRISON  Johnson -- of course it still has to be verified as a birth name Johnson or a married name Johnson, but so far this is the only evidence that I have.

So now I have my work cut out for me -- I have not found any supporting evidence as to the family and I have had to "unconnect" some of the Harrisons that I connected to last week . . . oh well, that is not unusual.

And Lastly

A major challenge this year and a task that kept me away from doing "fun" things has been taken care of, at least for now.

Taxes are due in about ten days April 15, I managed to beat the deadline and have electronically filed as of April 1.

Both the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board (CA)
have accepted our return -- that doesn't mean that they agree with it -- only that they have accepted it.

We'll see about agreement in the coming months . . .

That was a bit of our week. Have a great Easter and we'll see you all "in a few"!