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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 . . .

Saturday, June 6, 2015


I am not sure exactly where these birds were headin', but they were certainly vocalizing the journey. Dino was most interested in the several v-shaped formations that flew overhead the other day.

If you click on the above, to the left of the arrow can be seen one of the many flocks that serenaded us. I think that this was the last flock that day and I was lucky to get the camera just-in-time.

We know the geese will be back and they will be trumpeting their arrival and departure just as they did this day. Not long ago we did see a flock take a rest stop in the field between our house and the school behind us.

Ongoing Search Work

On the right is an example of a pedigree wheel or
chart for Gail.

The outer rim shows her Great Great Grandparents of which there is 16 and in this
wheel there are 12 identified.

So that means more work is needed to be done
to complete the wheel.

In searching when you get back to the early 1800s records can be much harder to come by.

Also usually this time period represents searching in other countries which is tougher to do as well.

This chart was made using "Charting Companion" software and there is a nice variety of charts available.

Gail's paternal line actually could include another section meaning her Great Great Great Grandparents -- William Bouldron & Elizabeth Jatten both of whom were born in England.

Her paternal Great Grandparents, Thomas Bouldron and Mary MacKenzie also both born in England are her immigrant ancestors.
They both arrived in the United States and settled in Denison, Iowa.

We often wondered how Denison, Iowa was chosen -- and it appears that that was where the railroad line ended when they arrived.

We know that Iowa put advertisements in English newspapers seeking to attract all comers.

Gail & I visited Denison about 10 years ago to capture the immigrant sense of arrival.

How did these "Wallaces" get into our tree?

There were already many folks with the surname Wallace in our tree and then this last week I uncovered another batch.

Here's the story:  my Great Grandfather Charles Stuart Bumgardner had a sister (my 2nd Great Aunt) named Nancy H Bumgardner and she married Andrew Clyde Wallace AND they had ten children.

Above you can see the chart showing Andrew & Nancy and their ten children in a chart created in the new

On the far right,  I even found a picture, taken for a passport photo of one of those kids -- Ethel Day Wallace. Finding pictures is really nice (and fun).

To the right is a better picture of how Ethel fits
into the family.

Ethel seemed to have a very interesting life and
traveled a lot and then moved and settled in Canada.

One of Ethel's brothers is Clyde Andrew Wallace. He married and had a son named
Wilber Harrison Wallace.

I was able to find Wilber's photo -- also a passport photo found on

It seems that Wilber too had a very interesting life as I see he worked in China in the 1920s with Standard Oil as a Superintendant of Installation.

I suspect that I'll find out many new facts about this branch of the Wallace family in the coming weeks. I may even find if they are linked in any way to the Wallace family that we already knew about.

I even hope to find out if Wilber is spelled correctly or if it should be Wilbur . . . stay tuned.

And Lastly

Do I smell a pizza . . . off to the right, past the "HILES" Ice Cream sign is our pizza oven.  But the pizza that we had the other night was store-bought (Mountain Mike's).

We also had store bought ice cream (Gail did) instead of home made . . . pizza and ice cream are hard to make tasty at home . . .

We hope to get enough energy to actually use the pizza oven, but in the meantime, it looks pretty good.

The flowers are looking good as well.

So, after the days chores are finished and appointments kept we
usually relax watching TV -- and a lot of the TV these days are
sporting events, mostly baseball.

However, this week -- on Thursday we actually watched our first
basketball game probably in several months:

We watched the Golden State Warrior game as they won the first game in the Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers . . .

We sure noticed the pace of the event as opposed to baseball. If the baseball game is a pitchers duel and almost every batter goes full count it can get tedious at times -- and it is at those times that we really appreciate the fact that we have recorded the game and can speed past some of that.

The Giants are doing fairly well -- and now that they have visited the White House (3rd time) they can concentrate on winning games. Today we will watch the game with the Phillies

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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

EOW, EOM -- So . . .

It's no big deal, but next month is almost here, less than 24 hours to go until the month that summer will begin anew. Here in Northern California it is confusing sometimes as to the weather and what season it really is. The last couple of weeks the mornings have been very cool and very dreary.

The yard though contains lots of color and it offsets the dreariness and then too, the afternoons have been very sunny and warm.

The Search Goes On

This week -- yesterday actually, I tuned into the
special webinar (for subscribers only) at Legacy Family Tree.

This webinar appealed to me because it had to do with Iowa and a how-to about searching in that state.

Both Gail and I have relatives and ancestors who lived in Iowa. So I was anxious for the webinar to be over so that I could try out some of the suggestions that were given.

And that is what I did -- I went to the first place that the presenter recommended:

Iowa Gen Web Project

And started plugging in surnames from our tree that I knew lived in Iowa. I started with Bumgardner as that is my mother's maiden name and her father's family were all over Iowa.

I found a reference to a Sarah Bumgardner and decided to follow up with her.

I knew about several Sarah Bumgardners but this one had a middle name (I only knew an initial) and I uncovered a lot of details about her life.

She married a man 28 years older than her, a man that had lost his first wife (Mary) two years prior to their marriage in 1859.

David Powell Johnson was a prominent doctor in Muscatine.

A few years after the marriage they had a son and named him David Powell Johnson, that was in 1863, unfortunately that David Powell Johnson died in 1865. Apparently Sarah was pregnant with another son that was born later in the year 1865 and they chose to name that son David Powell Johnson Jr.

Sarah lived until 1920 -- 78 years of age, her husband, Dr David Johnson, passed away in 1900 at the age of 86. Their son David Powell Johnson Jr, who also was a medical doctor, lived until 1956 passing away in Chicago, Illinois.

I was fortunate enough to find a photo of Sarah on the find-a-grave site and also a photo of the very impressive Dr David Powell Johnson residence in Muscatine.

Before this search I did not know about Sarah's marriage and life.

If I get to Muscatine again, I'll be sure to visit some of the key places in her life.

When Gail and I visited Muscatine back in 2003, we visited the one cemetery that we found for several of the Bumgardners, but Sarah and family are buried in a different cemetery.

Below left is the name of the cemetery: Greenwood and it looks very well maintained.

On the right is the most impressive monument that I've seen for a family member yet.

I would definitely like to visit that cemetery. It apparently has 18,000 or more interments.

I have a lot of other surnames to check into in Iowa -- it never ends, a good thing.


The San Francisco Giants moved into first place in their division this week -- how long will that last?

We'll watch and find out including in a few minutes when we watch the game SF Giants vs Atlanta Braves . . .

While writing this, Gail pointed out to me that Dino was patiently guarding two of his favorite soft chew toys in the hallway while he looked out the front door . . .

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Generational

Again this week so far -- cool in the morning (enough to put the heater on for a bit) and then warm almost to the point of needing the a/c. But here is something to get warmed about:

Thanks to Jim Hiles for sending me the above picture. It actually is the "old farm" where Jim was born some years ago on May 29th. The colors are rich and beautiful and I can only imagine the setting.

I believe Jim said that his father -- Edward Lloyd Hiles was also born on the same farm only on the 9 July 1910. The farm is located in Perry County, Ohio. What a serene looking setting!

So we take this moment to wish Jim the very best tomorrow and many more! Have a great day!

It is a Generational Thing . . .

I never have paid much attention to the terms assigned to generations -- until recently when I heard that "Millennials" are the current largest group in our society. I wasn't sure even what was meant by a "Millennial" . . .

So about 30% of our current population is made up of these folks. And this group apparently has distinctive traits.

Clicking on the chart to the left the "life decisions" stated do sound familiar.

Generation Z has yet to be heard from as a group. I can only imagine how their life decisions will be changing.

My parents belonged to the "GI Generation" while I belong to the "Silent Generation" somewhat news-to-me . . . and my kids are in Generation X.  Maybe I'll get a handle on this or maybe not.

A Webinar This Week

Besides being concerned with generations and their characteristics, the webinar put on by Legacy Family Tree Webinars this week was an excellent look at migration patterns mostly before 1860 that so many of our family members took part in . . .

Mary Hill had a top-notch
 presentation regarding the most common migration patterns -- and I am sure my branch of the family fit into those patterns.

The state of Ohio played a major role both into and out of the state. And I see our family right there and of course we see some of our family still there today (Jim for one).

The webinar is available for the next several days -- free of charge -- at Family Tree Webinars
it is well worth the time to view it.

A Pedigree Chart

On the left is a pedigree chart for me that shows 5 generations -- up to my Great Great Grandparents.

Starting with my Grandparents -- I have two sets meaning four people.

In each generation the number doubles so you can see that I have listed 16 G-G Grandparents and I have most of their names listed.

So, guess what that means about 3rd  Great Grandparents -- that number is 32.

I only know some of them.

At this point I have NO pictures of any of my 16 G-G Grandparents. My guess is that there are some pictures somewhere.

On the right are the folks I have identified as my 3rd G G Grandparents.

I have 18 of the 32 possibles, identified somewhat.

But, thanks to a cousin on the Gillett side, I do have pictures (images) for two of the folks. Thank you, Carmen.

And there you have it -- images for two folks from the tree that were both born in the 1700s.

You can see more images and other documents at the
The Hiles Website

I have added quite a few more things in the last couple of weeks.

I continue to search in old newspapers and I have found a lot of "tidbits".

I still have lots of unidentified photos that I hope that I can maybe identify at some point.

The week & month are ending fast . . .

That is a peek of this week -- see you all "in a few"!