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Saturday, July 25, 2015


We are fortunate that our house has a western exposure in the back and that we have a clear sky view throughout the day. In the evening though special clear nights give way to some very interesting sights:

All this week after darkness begins, the western sky brought out the moon. First as a "sliver moon" early in the week and then the last few nights as a "half moon". Since it was not foggy in the early evening hours we had some beautiful moon views.

We Got Postcards Numbers -- Lots of Numbers

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with numbers. Everything from the clock numbers (Gail mentioned yesterday-- Oh Look it is 11:11 . . .) to car mileage to dates to the temperature and so on.

Sometimes while driving I take notice of an upcoming mileage event on the odometer and am half-tempted to pull over and photograph the exact moment of transition.

I never felt that I was particularly very good in math classes,  but that probably had to do with other things as opposed to numbers themselves.

I very seldom forget dates of birthdays for those in my immediate family and have always had that built-in ability to keep track.

I am always interested to see numbers attached to people and events so much so that I feel satisfied when the numbers line up. 

I take blood pressure readings every morning on an electronic device. I 

often guesstimate the outcome and the time that it will occur.

Since school days, I recall dates such as 1066 -- the battle of Hastings & William the Conqueror.

And the date of 1215 -- the signing (or the granting) of the Magna Carta.

Which brings to mind the 800th anniversary of that event. One of these days I will delve into more of why these dates are so significant. In the meantime, I will work on more personal history though the merging of 1215 and 1066 into the family history is getting closer.

The Search This Week

Again my searching took me all over the tree and also to other trees. I get caught up in a certain branch and I just keep going and going.

But I did manage to stumble across one of Gail's folks who I had never met and it was interesting to take a peek at her:

Gail's grandfather, Henry J Rahman, was married twice. His first marriage to Edna Marie Benson produced five daughters. One of those daughters was Alice Rahman and Gail's Aunt -- but she also was the mother of Gail's first husband . . . 

Henry J's second marriage was to Jenny Jensen and from that marriage came two sons and two daughters, one of whom was Gail's mother -- Myrtle. 

But the person that I found this week was from the first marriage and that is Grace Mae Rahman and her third (at least) husband Wallace Lavery.

It was nice to put faces to two more names. One by one,  pictures are found for some of these elusive relatives. It is encouraging to get these photos.

Webinar This Week

On Wednesday this week I attended the Legacy Family Tree's regular webinar offering.

This week was about searching your Swedish Roots -- and we have some, probably more than we know.

But the webinar was done very professionally with a ton of links for doing Swedish research.

Above are the Family Group Sheets for the two marriages of my Great Grandfather, Samuel B Swante Nelson.

I never met Samuel nor either of his two wives. His first wife, Ella,  died abt. 1896 and he shortly later remarried this time to Annie. Annie died in 1938 (Samuel died sometime before 1930).

Because of the Webinar, I took an interest again to search more about Swedish relatives and it paid off a little bit at least. 

I did not know when Samuel died (still do not know the dates) nor did I know when Annie died nor have her correct birth name. 

Above I show a newspaper clipping regarding "Final Rites" for Sam, but no dates and no newspaper name. 

Also above is the death certificate for Annie Charlott Bergquist Nelson which I purchased from the Illinois Records Archive site. From that I found out her parents names and from where in Sweden they were all from and saw that the "informant" of the information for the death certificate was her daughter, Lillian Marie Nelson -- Mrs. Frank Johnson.

Hopefully, more information will come as the result of the above.


Who Do You Think You Are begins its new season this Sunday evening -- TLC at 8 pm.

This show is always interesting and it always encourages me to delve deeper.

Ginnifer Goodwin and her genealogy I'm sure will be fascinating.

The show is amazing to me in that it proves that so much is out there waiting to be found and I am always surprised at the material that is uncovered.

So, this Sunday night our DVR will be set to record this episode and the whole series -- as usual.

That was a bit of our week -- it is Saturday and that means burger and fries tonight. 

See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tower Flower Power

It was an energizing week is some respects. While we stayed fairly close to home we managed to accomplish some of our vague objectives. It seems like forever ago that I had to come up with "goals & objectives" quarterly -- and then face the dreaded reviews . . .

One objective that we had this year was to create a flower box display that was "fun" to look at -- and we think we accomplished that. With a combination of bulbs and plants we have a display of flowers that so far keeps our interest -- not to mention bee interest.

Webinar this Week

Legacy Family Tree did not disappoint with their weekly webinar on Wednesday -- or should I say
Karen Clifford did not disappoint.

This was the second in a series of webinars by Karen that she details her research plans for given genealogical situations.

Viewers in advance were encouraged to send to Karen their brick wall cases e.g.

Karen then went step-by-step into her approach for solving the questions. I learned a lot by following along with Karen and hope that I can copy her approach with some of our brick wall cases from the HILES Family Tree . . .

The Search This Week

Speaking of "The HILES Family Tree" I work almost every day on the Hiles tree that I started there a few years ago.

Often I start by inputting folks into my Family Tree Maker tree and then enter them into  When I finish those two trees I then enter some of the folks into the tree at the Hiles website:    all of this takes -- t i m e . . .

But, when things are clicking the time just flies by and gives me a lot of satisfaction.

On I actually have 20 trees. Some are for branches of the Hiles tree, but many are for friends. And often I climb into those trees and lose myself for an entire week -- and that is what happened this week.

I went after some of the low-hanging fruit available in a couple of the "friend" trees. But it gives me a great sense of accomplishment to expand the trees. It often opens up approaches that I can use in my researching of our tree.

While I was busy doing all this researching, Gail had some of her own projects that she was working on and finishing up:

The Needlepoint to the left, Gail has been working on and "setting aside" for awhile -- this week she finally finished the Christmas Stocking and it has been sent to the "finisher" to turn it into a beautiful stocking.

She also "retired" the indoor herb & spice growing factory.

She started these herbs earlier this year and there have been enough herbs produced to last us a very long time.

We may decide to grow indoor flowers next -- but that will be a while before we start that.

Another project we continued with is the ever on-going paper trail in the office created mostly by the health care industry though the financial industry creates its fair share as well.

Getting & keeping a handle on the paper is forever a problem. We have a ways to go and then we have to tackle the closets and the worst area of all -- the garage. Who knows where all that stuff came from . . .

Another Worthwhile Project

To the right is my "facebook" sharing of a
Kickstarter project that I donated to this week.

Thanks to Dick Eastman from
for publishing the information.

"The People Who Made Me" an illustrated children's book being written by Troy Hallewell
was seeking "crowdsourcing" money on to fund the writing of this book.

The other day when I donated they had not yet reached their goal to continue the project and only had a few days to go.

Yesterday or today, they got to their goal and can
continue and hopefully publish this book.

The book tells the story to young kids about who their ancestors were and what type of people they were and other details. It sounds like a perfect book to spark the genealogical interest in kids and especially grand kids.

A Reminder About WDYTYA

We have this to look forward to in July. It seems that the seasons fly by, but this show has always brought my interest.

I have not checked out the participants yet for this season, but they have always been good -- well -- except for that one . . . just kidding. So in a little over a week we'll find out WDYTYA.


We're staying in the shade -- mostly the shade in the family room though.

We do though sit outside every day, usually early
well, 9am -- 10 am and then again around 6 pm.

The rest of the time we are inside with the a/c on.

We enjoyed the MLB All-Star game and now the beginning of the second half of major league baseball.

Thinking ahead -- preseason football in the NFL starts next month, just a few weeks away.

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

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Behavin' Bee Haven

This week it reminded me a lot of my days in the Pacific Northwest with one exception -- not a lot of rain but a whole lot of gray . . . we did get a smattering of rainfall one day this week -- Wednesday. It came the day after one of the days that we can water the lawns and garden.

The above comes mostly from our current flower box -- formerly our garden produce box . . . we decided this year to give up the benefits of vegetables and opt for a more visual benefit.  We are enjoying the change.

We planted several types of flowers and bulbs aimed at inviting bees to join in. We have seen some bees -- hard working bees -- and hope to see many more in the coming weeks.


The rain that came on Wednesday left the cover on the pool with interesting patterns. It almost looks like a printed circuit-board. Usually, we have so much sun that any moisture on top of the cover is dried immediately and looks not-so-good.

The cover is almost mandatory these days due to the rapid evaporation and it definitely has helped reduce that. The first time we put the cover on it looked like solid ground to Dino . . . he quickly recovered from stepping onto the surface and suffered only one wet foot . . .

Whoever heard of a lab that doesn't like water to jump into . . .

Webinars This Week

One of this week's features for me was attending two webinars hosted by Legacy Family Tree.

On Wednesday, Thomas MacEntee presented "Pinning Your Family History".  This was a very well-done webinar and reinforced the value of Pinterest and other pinning sites. I hope that I can put to use the many ideas that he shared.

Then on Friday, Judy Russell presented "Making a Federal Case Out of It". This too was an excellent webinar and one that I'll be revisiting more as I encounter records possibly in Federal Courts.

The two folks above account for many of the webinars that Legacy has hosted and they are examples of the top-notch professionalism that make the webinar series so worthwhile.

The Personal Search This Week

So many times my search involves the folks located in the Gillett branch of the family -- and this week found me there once again:

Click on the above chart to see (starred) two of the 16 GGG Grandparents that I have. Thomas Gillett and Sophia Pratt. They had a bunch of kids (12) and one of those was Clarissa. Clarissa married Elisha Kelley and one of their daughters was Regina Delilah Kelley -- who married Harvey Brown Rittenhouse . . .

Above you can see a Family Group Sheet showing the family with 11 children. And it was among these kids that I spent a lot of research time this week.

As an example, one those kids was also a Clarissa (Rittenhouse):

Clarissa Rittenhouse (and all of her siblings) is a 2nd cousin (twice removed because there are two generations between us).

So for now I have my hands full of research documenting those 11 children and it is why there are now so many Rittenhouse cousins in the tree . . . where before this week I knew of none.


The news these days is filled with the upcoming Presidential election candidates. I wonder how soon it will be that we see some of them "drop out" of the race.

I have added the above "widget" to the top of the blog and it will keep us reminded of just how long we have to go before casting our vote.

And that is a bit of our week. There are other activities going on, like watching the Giants lose more than win their current games . . . and working on puzzles, and shopping for just the right dinner menu items and, well, stuff.     See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday, it IS the 4th of July . . .

This was a HOT week, today is a bit cooler and for that we are glad! Earlier this week, I think the same day that turned out to be extra long (leap-second day) I checked the thermometer out back:

On the left it shows a couple of degrees hotter than 100 but on the clock it shows much higher -- must be a mistake. Never-the-less it was hot and this was at 6:20 in the evening.

The beautiful orange flower chose to bloom on that day as well. Before they blossom they almost look edible.

We are ready for the 4th, in terms of decoration that is . . .

We have resisted buying any of those "safe and sane" fireworks packages that are not legal in our city anyway.

Almost always there are random displays though throughout local neighborhoods and our city has a great fireworks show every year.

Our thoughts go back to the many 4th of July holidays growing up.

I remember certainly having sparklers to wave about in the evening. There was a distinct smoke type odor produced from these.

Of course we used to "mar up" the sidewalks by burning the "snakes" that curled up when lit. And if we were lucky, we had a stash of "lady-fingers" that we could set off.

Once in a while we even had some cherry bombs . . .

The Searching this Week

The searching gave me a variety of things to think about and the collage on the left is amazing to me.

These are four women who are living today AND they were living in the 1800s as well.

Four people that have lived for a very long time and I can only wonder about the events that they recall first hand during their lives -- things that we only have read about.

There are probably a few other folks that are alive from the 1800s -- they just have not been identified.

We have some examples of folks from our tree that have lived more than 100 years.

You can check them out at the Hiles Website.

On the right is a pedigree chart showing
my 4th Great Grandparents down to
Angeline Hiles (1/2 First Cousin).

Angeline married Henry Dearing in 1889
in Perry County, Ohio.

Angeline & Henry had at least 11 children and what caught my curiosity this week while rummaging through was one of their children's obituary:

This obituary appeared in The Logan (Ohio) Daily News, Wednesday, 14 January 1970.

I happened to spot it and thought the name looked familiar -- Vaul, which of course is an unusual first name.

The obituary spells out the fact that Vaul was a retired coal miner and that he
died leaving his wife, Emma, and five coal-miner sons and four coal-miner daughters.

With the listing in the obituary, names of his children, all of whom are my 1/2 3rd cousins, I hope to follow those folks to current living cousins.

I happened on this obituary by accident while looking for others.

I find searching throughout the old newspapers very addicting and part of the result is that I wind up with a lot of various and sundry material.

On the right is an article that also caught my eye
as I was searching and is NOT about a relative.

This appeared in The Logan Daily News in 1950 during the Korean War.

It is hard to imagine that a couple that young experienced such tragedy.

I know that there are a lot of similar stories but
they always are eye-openers when I read about them.

I'll be scanning more papers in the weeks to come and there will be more things to ponder.


In honor of "The Fourth" we will be enjoying what we feel is appropriate for the day:

Hot Dogs for lunch & Hamburgers for dinner.

What could be more American than that . . .

A preview of tonight:

Have a Great Holiday & we'll see you all "in a few"!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

First Week of Summer in the City

What City?  It used to be San Francisco and a few others before that . . . but now -- Healdsburg. This week definitely says "Summer".  The a/c has gotten a good workout. The skies have produced some amazing shows:

The above sky photo happened last evening as we were watching the Giants game -- we were alerted to the sky from the TV screen that showed the San Francisco sky and shortly after we saw that sky over Healdsburg from our back deck.

After the sun set, the moon glowed through the mottled clouds in the sky creating a very interesting effect. Anyway . . . we're old . . .

Happenings This Week

It was Gail's birthday this week and one of the very favorite things that Dino likes about birthdays and other holidays -- is the opening of gifts.

He is interested in every single gift and gets his nose working to "check" each package.

Even though the gifts are not for him, he does not seem to mind and he gets excited over all.

We had a nice day and a quiet celebration along with a dinner of "pulled pork", corn-on-the-cob and of course a special dessert.

So, the first week of summer is for Gail and then later the first week of fall is my time . . .

The Search Work This Week

It seems that this week again I was involved in searches relating to my maternal side of the tree.

On the left is a Family Group Sheet for my Great Great Grandparents -- George Franklin Bumgardner and his wife Sarah Olive Rider and their ten children.

One interesting fact is that their oldest daughter, Susanna and their youngest daughter, Mollie both married "Hoopes" men.

Susanna or Susan, and Mary Mollie Bumgardner are both great grand aunts of mine.

Susanna married Reece Henry Hoopes and together they had seven children -- all Hoopes of course.

Mollie married Thomas JW Hoopes and they had 5 children.

It is one of the "great grandsons" of Susanna's that caught my attention this week.

The relationships get confusing real fast . . . Martin Cornelius Hoopes while being a 3rd cousin to me was the great grandson of Susanna and Reece.

I remember my mother mentioning the name "Hoopes" when we talked family things when I was growing up -- but only in a passing way -- never any details.

Of course even with my direct line of Bumgardners not much was ever  talked about.

As I have mentioned in other posts, we never made one trip to Iowa growing up, to visit any of the Bumgardner and related families there.

To the right is the Find-A-Grave memorial for Martin. Little did I know that a 3rd cousin was living in the Bay Area -- Hayward.

It seems that Martin lived a very interesting life. Born in Oregon, raised in Nebraska and wound up in the East Bay area of San Francisco.

He lived from 1919 til 2013 and died at 93 years of age. He had at least three daughters and two sons and numerous grand and great grandchildren -- probably some of whom are living in the bay area as well.

I plan to delve a bit further into the Hoopes clan and find out other facts as well. I already have found an interesting story about another Hoopes relative that I will highlight in a subsequent post.

Genealogy -- I wish that I could discuss these findings with my parents as I discover these cousins and others.

Another HILES, Wisconsin Offering

And again I see that the real estate market in Hiles, Wisconsin is "booming" -- at least they have "inventory".

It is hard to imagine that there is any place that can offer a home like the one pictured to the left for about the cost of a luxury vehicle.

That property would be close to $1 million in parts of California . . . but then again -- as my wife points out -- "you'd have to live there . . ."

Lastly -- What is on our Nightstand?

One of Gail's birthday gifts is being read each night (thanks, Lisa & Bob).

Jack Nicholson's biography is already very interesting and well written.

Since he is around our age we can relate to the events that are talked about in the book as they happen in his life. And some of the geography is familiar as well -- the Hollywood area and environs.

So we are enjoying getting to know more about Nicholson and look forward to savoring the details of this contemporary in the coming chapters.

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

All in one Weekend -- Spring Summer Father

It all seems to be happening this weekend. In less than 22 hours 2015 Springtime will officially be over and Summer 2015 will begin. Summer goes from June 21 'til September 23 . . .

The drought here has NOT yet shut down the flowers at least not all of them. We are dutifully following the rules of watering for our town -- Tuesday and Friday evenings only.

As far as the end of one season and the start of another goes, we probably won't be able to tell that much difference for a few weeks or even a month or so. August will most likely be HOT and of course dry.

We saw on the news that there are signs that El Nino may be happening later this year and with that possibly wet storms . . . for Northern California. That would be wonderful. How strange it is that while we here in this part of the country are having such dry weather, the Midwest and the Southwest are having abundant rain and storms . . .

Other Possible News

By 2020 our money could be taking on a whole new look -- at least for now on the Twenty Dollar Bill. There is talk that a woman will take the place of Andrew Jackson on that denomination. It is probably appropriate and about time:

Above are nine possible women being considered. I enjoy "collecting" money and this proposed change will enhance the collectibility of the Twenty Dollar Bill now sometimes referred to as a "Jackson".

Four years seems so distant -- but by then we will have had a new president who will be finishing up his or her first term. The things we have to look forward to . . .

The Searching This Week

I actually did a lot of searches this week and very little to-show-for-it . . .

I spent a lot of time randomly searching through several Bumgardner branches.

On the right is an example of one search -- Jacob Bumgardner, my Third Great Uncle.

He started his life in Virgina and wound up in Iowa -- just like many of that branch.

Another Bumgardner is Nancy and she is my 2nd Great Aunt.

She is the Bumgardner that introduced the Wallace name into the branch.

I talked about her family in a recent post.

The Find-A-Grave memorial and the relationship chart sheds light on her family.

And lastly an example from my paternal side of the tree:

My Father's brother's daughter -- my paternal first cousin, Vivian Helen Hiles.

Vivian married Frank Porcaro, her first of three marriages.

Frank died in 1981 and Vivian went on to marry two more times, but she is buried next to her first husband.

I was fortunate enough to speak with Vivian on the telephone shortly before she died.  Before that time I had only seen her when I was a child. As far as I know her brother, Leslie, is still alive and living in Racine, Wisconsin.

Other Ways we are Spending Our Time

We are enjoying watching baseball almost every day. Fortunately,
all the Giants games are telecast on channels that we receive.

We record each game and then watch about an hour after they begin and can skip most commercials and pitching changes and things like that.

Last night for example it was nice to see the Giants play the Dodgers --  and they won.

Earlier this week we watched the games with the Seattle Mariners.

Even though I lived in both of the other cities and have been to each of the other stadiums, it is so nice to sit in our family room and watch these games.

We also enjoyed the no-hitter that Heston completed a few games ago.

The above picture is also the current puzzle that Gail is working on -- I help occasionally -- and it is quite challenging. It just might take us the entire season to finish -- and that's a good thing!


I remember many Father's Days and always
have a "good" memory of them.

I do remember though working a "strike" assignment as a long distance operator and
putting through calls from distant children to their fathers.

Many of these calls -- unlike on Mother's Day -- were "collect" calls.

Today, communication is most like made on cell phones for long distant fathers and kids.

Enjoy the day and we'll see you all "in a few"!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Homebodies . . .

It is no secret that lately we've become "homebodies" i.e. we are enjoying the simple pleasures of things around our home.

The Irises in the front have a different lifestyle from the other blooming flowers in that they do not bloom every day -- they seem to pick and choose on what day they will bloom. We glance out the kitchen window each morning to find out if "they" are in bloom.

This week we actually "set a spell" on the front porch (the picture is a depiction of a porch but is not our actual porch.

We just relaxed along with Dino and decided to stay on the porch until some folks walked by as they often do . . .

But this day was different. Even though it was the middle of the week there was almost no activity down our street -- and after about an hour and nobody walked by, we decided to go back into the a/c and watch baseball.

Our town, like most other towns in California, has mandated a water conservation program, due to the drought situation.

We now can only water outside on two days of the week -- Tuesday & Friday -- and only during certain hours -- after 8 PM and from Midnight to 7 AM. There are monetary penalties for non-compliance. So, we comply, but it really is hard to watch things start to turn brown.

Imagine my surprise on Tuesday night this week when I was poised to begin the watering regimen at 8 PM. At almost exactly the time, as I got up to go outside I was greeted with pouring down rain. We had not apparently paid enough attention to the weather forecast and had no idea that it might rain.

Needless to say, we did not do any watering on Tuesday night. It rained fairly steadily for a bit and even a bit the next morning. But by Wednesday evening it was again "hot & dry". We did reach over 100 degrees on that day and any benefit that the rain provided for the yard was used up.

A Note about our Family Migration

Most migration paths for my paternal side of the family came into and out of OHIO.

We have evidence of early 1800s existence of our
ancestors in Ohio.

In the mid 1800s my branch, via Daniel Hiles and family moved out of Ohio and into Wisconsin. I am not exactly sure as to the reason.

However, Ohio still is the state that has the most HILES families listed in the United States.

Some Random Iowa Newspaper Sleuthing

On my maternal side of the family tree, Iowa played a major role.

The Bumgardner Family, the Butler Family, the Rider Family, the Hoopes Family , the Rankin Family, the Blair Family and many others have
played a major role in Iowa.

On the right are a few of the random newspaper articles that I spotted this week while searching.

Click on them to enlarge and get a flavor for some of what was important enough to put into the newspaper of the day.

I particularly like the one about the Bumgardner family that in 1928 "had a telephone installed in their home" which was worthy of a blurb in the paper . . .

Or the one about Chas. Bumgardner (my Great Grandfather) bringing a few horses through town for his livery service in 1899.

And one other -- C.P.Rankin(s) doing picture framing and making screen windows and doors, a business located at the residence of his sister Mary Sydney Rankin Bumgardner in 1916.

Could have Happened . . .

That actually could have been what my life might have been like if my father had gotten his way.

Back in the 50s his goal was to "buy the farm" up in Wisconsin.

We made several "scouting" trips to find the perfect farm -- one that my Mother might actually even consider living on.

But is was not to be -- the farm that my father chose to hesitate and quibble on the purchase price slipped out of the market when someone else made the purchase . . .

Today though my nephew, Jeremy, lives in Wisconsin and works in Iowa for John Deere . . .

Maybe a 2nd Home in HILES (Wisconsin)

So -- if you heart is set on living in Hiles, Wisconsin, here is an opportunity for a weekend getaway home right on the lake.

Here is over one half acre of land with the house (and a shed) with a dock in the lake . . . what more could you want?

Check it out -- instead of buying that Tesla Model X, you could own a piece of Hiles Paradise!

Let us know if you decide on doing that (either one).

And Lastly

This is how I envision our summer to be -- Dino and I catching some fish for dinner in the Russian River that runs through our town . . .

Right . . .

Well, that is a bit of our week.

See you all "in a few"!

Enjoy the NBA Finals, FIFA and MLB . . .