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Saturday, August 16, 2014

School . . . Bleak Week For Some

Unbelievably, school started in the public schools here in Healdsburg on Thursday, August 14. We know that means a lot of things to different folks. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago we never went back to school until just after labor day.

There are a lot of kids in town that have not gone back to school as yet because they go to private schools, lucky them.

Since our backyard backs up to an elementary school playfield, the sounds of recess have begun to waft across the fence and brings several emotions to the former school-teacher (Gail) who lives here, plus she has great fondness for her days at the University of Puget Sound . . .

Dates Next Week

Many familiar names are on the list for next week:

Best wishes to them all!

Bought on eba Recently

I like to check eba for items relating to our family. Several years back I managed to outbid someone for the "HILES ICE CREAM" sign which now hangs outside on our pool house wall along with several other family items.   Joining them soon will be my latest find:

The red sign to the left came from the HILES FIRE DEPARTMENT in of course Hiles, Wisconsin. I am happy to be able to put it up with the other memorabilia "out back".

I actually have been to Hiles, Wisconsin -- several years ago, and while I have yet to tie us to the founders of the town (there are actually two HILES, Wisconsins) I feel a close identity. How many Hiles branches  can there be anyway . . .


This week's program featured Valerie Bertinelli. Her story was very interesting in that she was able to learn quite a bit about both her father's line and her mother's line. Her father's line is Italian and her mother's line is English -- but SOME English!

It turns out that her mother's line links directly (through the Claypooles) to King Edward 1st . . . very impressive. And how nice it would be to find something like that out . . .

Next week -- Kelsey Grammer will be featured. I look forward to seeing his story.

So What is on Our Nightstand (and our iPad . . .)

We finished reading the book "Behind the Curtain" all about Jay Leno and the Tonight Show. We found the book to be excellent and we enjoyed reading it together.

So, what is next?

Since one of our favorite TV shows is "Dancing With the Stars" it was a natural to select the above book written by one of the stars of that show. Even though he is still a young man he has a lot to share about his "take" on life and we are enjoying his book.

While the above is a book we are reading together, I have a couple that I have on my iPad that I am reading whenever I grab the time:

Having lived through the "Watergate" period I purchased the Audible version of "The Nixon Defense" by John W Dean. When I take the time the book is read to me and I can stop and start whenever I want to and the book is bookmarked for me to pick up later . . .

Then, on my Kindle app on the iPad, I have the book "David and Goliath" by Gladwell and this book I do the reading one page at a time. I also can start and stop whenever I want to and can enlarge the print or look up words etc.

The iPad using Audible and/or Kindle is really nice. While physical books are great, the ability to carry several with you on an iPad is a bonus. I have many books on the iPad and so I can pick and choose which one I would like to read or be read to . . .

Lastly, an update on found-stuff

I did manage to find tons of little clues here and there across a wide spectrum of the family tree. While browsing through an issue of "The Spirit Lake Beacon" -- Spirit Lake, Iowa (on I spotted this ad:

Since our family never really talked about many of the Iowa relatives, I never knew about "BOYD'S , THE MEN'S SHOP" until now.

A couple of posts ago I had published the information about Penn Blair and his unfortunate story and this shop was owned by his father Boyd Blair, a first cousin of mine.

That is a bit of our week. It is Saturday, burgers tonight!  See you all in a few!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Taking Care of Business

Often lately our business has had to do with the health care system with respect to us -- this week we attended to the needs of our faithful pooch Dino. He never complains (nor ever barks) but we did notice that he had a little redness in the corner of one eye.

We waited a couple of days to see if it got better, but it did not. We made the appointment and took him into see his favorite vet place. The first event -- just like with us -- they weighed him. Oops, it looks like age is catching up with his metabolism so a "slight" reduction in feed is called for.

In addition, after a thorough examination Dino got medication for the eye infection, medication for an ear infection AND medication for the rash on his belly . . .he is a lab.

The hood he is wearing is a hassle and he isn't totally smooth on his navigation through the house, not unlike others I know. But the pill pockets that we put the antibiotic pills in are a huge hit -- he loves hickory . . .

His prognosis is good and he looks better already. He is so patient though with that hood -- we take it off for him to eat his reduced rations.

Dates Next Week

Lots of birthdays, few wedding anniversaries. There are a lot of familiar names on the upcoming birthday list. For those names that you do not recognize, if you'd like check them out at

Who Do You Think You Are -- This Week

It was another week highlighting the amazing things that we can learn about our ancestors, or in this case the ancestors of the McAdams sisters, Kayleen & Rachel.

A few generations back on their maternal side the sisters uncovered a gr gr gr grandfather who happened to make his living as a "footman" in the service of others. First they learned what that occupation entailed and then they actually visited the house in-which he was employed.

Unfortunately there often was a high risk in that profession and their ancestor died at an early age of that related risk factor. If they had only just seen the dates and geographical references they would never have found out the circumstances surrounding this part of their heritage.

Things Found in My Search -- This Week

I found a ton of small details for a variety of folks in our tree -- but I'll mention really just one for now. I have talked about a favorite cousin of my Mother's before, Charles Keith Bumgardner. I had only ever heard of him as "Keith Bumgardner" from my Mother, I never met him.

This week I stumbled across a form that he filled out in 1950 when he was applying to receive some military pay due to him pertaining to WWII:

Above you can see both his relationship to me and the form that he filled out. It looked like he was applying to receive $415 due him for his service. The amount is interesting but what I found more interesting was on the second page he listed the name of his current wife -- a name that I had not seen before -- Dorothy Bumgardner with her address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania..

I will have to do more research with respect to that "new" name, which is often the case when finding new documents . . .

The other piece of information that I found this week for Keith was his final resting place. I knew that after WWII he had returned to Japan, married a Japanese lady and had at least one more daughter, Mariko. But I did not expect to see his gravestone -- that comes courtesy of Find-A-Grave:

Apparently this cemetery is primarily for those from other countries who have died while living in Japan. The grounds look very well attended.

Sporting Choices This Week

As soon as Thursday came about this week, baseball quickly took a backseat to football. Preseason football began for real and we watched (most of) the game between the 49ers and the Ravens, a battle between the brother coaches named Harbaugh.

Above you can see this week's preseason NFL action some of which is taking place tonight. We did watch a bit of the game between the Vikings and "that other team" just enough to convince us though that we had better things to do.

Preseason NFL, while fun to watch, probably will not take us away from watching the SF Giants play until the real season gets started in September -- then there are only so many sporting entertainment hours available for us . . . we are also anxiously awaiting (a week from Sunday) for the first game that the 49ers will play in their brand-new Levi Stadium.

Lastly -- A Sad Farewell

Sadly Gail and I lost a friend of many years this week and may she R.I.P. !

The above photo was taken on February 28, 2014 . . .

That was a bit of our week. See you all in a few.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


This week was a lot like the days in "Groundhog Day" that is, each day seemed to be a repeat of the previous one. That 90s movie with Bill Murray sticks in our minds when we have the kind of week that we just had.

But the weather is semi-moderate today and the temperature is a bit cooler today than yesterday. Out in the back this morning I snapped this collage:

There are still some colorful blossoms and some plants that we just discovered this year (the red ones). Dino resembles his wall art and the morning is giving in to some sun after an overcast start . . .

Next Week's Dates

There are quite a few birthdays next week as well as several wedding anniversaries -- today though we send birthday wishes to our cousin Bruce Hiles who celebrates this day, August 2nd.

WDYTYA -- After Two Episodes

As usual, the episode of WDYTYA this week was again very interesting as Jesse Ferguson finds out that a great grandparent was charged with some serious crimes just as a great grandparent in Cynthia Nixon's previous episode.

What I find so interesting is the depth of the information that is uncovered AND the fact that apparently the families today had NO idea of these events until WDYTYA and reveals the details.

While I do not necessarily want to find out the kinds of things that Cynthia and Jesse found out, I would love to be able to get that level of detail of events in some of our relatives lives.

Some "Details" Found in this Week's Searching

On the maternal branch of my tree e.g. one of the main relatives that I know things about is George Franklin Bumgardner, my Gr Gr Grandfather who along with some of the Rider family boys rode from Virginia to Iowa in search of lands they felt would be suitable to move to.

And they all agreed on settling in Muscatine, Iowa. I have written in previous posts about George. This post I thought I'd look at some additional facts:

Muscatine was at one time (after the decline of the timber industry) known as THE button capital of the world. And why was that so -- the abundance of available mussels and their shells from the Mississippi river.

Who would have thought that from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s that buttons and the production of them would figure so prominently into the economy of Muscatine.

At one point it was mentioned that almost 50% of the labor force in Muscatine was engaged in button cutting and related efforts -- and that included many of our relatives living there:

In the above picture is just one example of a relative working in the button industry in Muscatine. In this example, George Franklin Bumgardner's younger brother, Jacob and his Grandson George Harry Bumgadner along with his wife Pauline are shown in the 1930 census working in the button industry.

We probably have some of those buttons in a collection in some drawer in our home . . .

More Iowa Detail found this Week

While nosing around the many surnames from our family tree who lived in and around Iowa I did find some detail of a sad nature about a second cousin.

My mother mentioned that the BUMGARDNER'S were intermingled with the BUTLER'S, the BLAIR'S, the RANKIN'S, the RIDER'S and the HOOPES' -- which I have found to be the case as I search through the branches.

Most of the Iowa folks I have never met -- just my Grandfather Dayton Bumgardner, his brother Carl and a couple of others. This week I found details about the life of a second cousin that I had never met:

Penn Boyd Blair was close to my age and was the grandson of my grandfather's sister, Bess, as you can see in the above. He unfortunately died in -- at the time the 4th worst air-crash in history -- in a DC-10 near Paris, France.

The cause of the crash later was revealed to be a poorly secured hatch in the rear of the plane . . . all 346 aboard perished.

A Saturday Webinar

My post this week is published a little later than usual as I attended a very informative webinar on how to prove or disprove some written evidence:

Tom Jones gave a very detailed informative presentation using several real-life examples.

Lastly -- Why Burgers?

I remember growing up that Saturday nights were special in our 1940s home (1930s for my brother & sister).

It was special because in those days we got our weekly bath on that day and as we were relaxing in our clean sleep wear we were treated to listening to the radio AND to burgers. We also got to have root beer, usually "Dad's Old Fashioned" and Jay's potato chips -- what more could you want?

Well, that is where the "Barn Dance" came in . . . we listened every Saturday night, in front of the little radio and as a family enjoyed that program -- I especially liked "Homer & Jethro".

Well, we no longer take baths, we no longer listen to the Barn Dance -- but, we do have burgers!

So now you know -- see you all in a few!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

12 HRS ON, 12 HRS OFF -- A/C That Is

We could leave the a/c on 24 hours, but we do like some fresh air . . . this week -- or at least the last couple of days and the next couple of days the temperature is at or will be at the century mark. We have two or three fans running to circulate the air conditioned air and sometimes we even put on a long sleeved shirt . . .

Even Dino keeps changing locations to find the coolest spot. We seem though,  to be able to remain comfortable and keep our regular routines -- that is, breakfast, lunch, dinner and individual projects in between such as needle-pointing AND genealogy.

We have watched all of the Giants baseball games -- some not in their entirety -- but many of them. I think this year that I have seen more baseball games than any other year. I used to wait until the play offs and then watch.

We are also geared up to watch some football, which is going to start in a couple of weeks . . .

Sunday Breakfast

During most of the week we enjoy cereal for breakfast and usually the same kind until I can not stand that kind and we switch to a different one. And we usually have two kinds of fruit on the cereal, bananas and some form of berry.

But on Sunday mornings we try to "mix it up" a bit by having either dollar size pancakes, waffles or in the case of last Sunday:

This was good, except I let the eggs cook a tiny bit too long as I really like a more-runny yoke. The dark blob on my plate is really a bit of leftover mashed potatoes fried with a nice crisp . . . and we always have a couple of rashers of bacon . . .

Dates from our Tree

This is the last week of July so there are some miscellaneous birth and anniversaries to note coming in the next week:

Among the birthdays next week is one for our cousin Bruce Hiles, living in New Jersey -- so best wishes to him -- notice that he shares that date with my Dad's sister, Muriel.

On Television This Week

One of my favorite shows to watch premiered this week -- "Who Do You Think You Are". The show has been on now for a few years and I have seen every episode and enjoyed them very much.

This week, Cynthia Nixon was featured and when the details unfolded, the story was amazing. She was shocked to find out the details of the life of her Gr Gr Gr Grandmother, as were the rest of us.

There are so many "stories" out there about our relatives just waiting to be uncovered and then told. The show points out that not everything can be found online and that you have to be able to travel to different locations and repositories to search.

I look forward to the upcoming episodes with great anticipation and maybe some secrets into how I can uncover more of these amazing events from our tree.

The show is Wednesday nights on TLC.

My Own Search this Week

While not nearly as exciting as the above story, never-the-less, satisfying though. I spent a lot of time accumulating different "bits" of information like "City Directory Posts" for various relatives e.g. and "marriage documents" for others.

Above is an example of what I found this week for a 1st Cousin (3x removed) -- George Hiles. George is the son of Jackson & Elizabeth Hiles and basically that was about all I knew of George.

I found some marriage records for George and for the two wives that he married -- ten years apart. In 1895 he married Joanna Maxwell and apparently divorced some time later. Then in 1905 he married again this time to Lillie May Butler.

I do not know many of the details of those marriages but will be looking. I see -- from the censuses that George was a barber in his own shop.  I know of at least one other barber from the tree -- Willis Palmer, the husband of my Great Aunt Carrie Martin.

Lastly -- An Opportunity to Shop & Travel

In the news this week I spotted an ad for a "Yard Sale". What made the ad unique was that the coordinator of the event -- Linda Hiles -- listed an "888" number to call for details -- which I have not done, but maybe one of you would like to . . .

Since I do not think we can make it to Arkansas on the dates in question it will be interesting to see how the event does -- they have been doing this for several years -- so it must be doing well.

I don't know if Linda Hiles and her husband Frank are relatives of ours -- but they could be . . .

So that is a bit of our week. It is Saturday and that means burgers tonight! See you all in a few!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


This week was as varied as the weather. Most days started with a dreary overcast that flavored the whole day and at times matched our mood . . . and that can be good i.e. to have synchronization all around.

Actually even though we only went out to do some shopping (Costco & a few other stores) we experienced a variety of events televised and other.

We purchased a new flag (& pole) hopefully one that will resist the ravages of the relentless summer sun. There was a "super moon" over the past weekend which I managed to take some photos of, but I am using ones that I shot off the TV screen above right.

For a couple of nights we had great stir-fry and then even a third night of chow mein, all home made. And we managed to celebrate the final teenage birthday with Olivia.

We also enjoyed the Baseball All Star game on Tuesday with Derek Jeter in his final All Star game as he retires later this year after twenty years. But we have to say we got caught up in some of the frenzy about World Cup Soccer and that final game:

We watched the game and the well-over 100 minutes of a "no-score" until in the last few minutes of overtime Germany popped in a goal. It was exciting to see. And for the losing teams -- there is always four years to rethink strategies . . .

Next Week Dates for Tree People

Birthdays still abound but only one marriage anniversary next week . . .

Maybe the last week of July will produce additional anniversaries.

The Ongoing Search in the Trees

I did manage to spend a considerable amount of time detailing some of the branches in the many personal and online trees that I maintain.

I thought I'd share a peek at one of the branches that I fleshed out a bit. I went to the alphabetically last HILES that I have in the tree and worked on trying to bring some clarity to who that person was and how that person has brought heretofore unknown surnames into our branch.

So I looked at Zola Belle Hiles. I had never really heard much about Zola before doing some investigation.
And little wonder -- she is "far out there" so-to-speak. To me she is a "2nd Half-Cousin 2 x Removed".

As you can see in the above chart, we are both descended from John Hiles Jr -- me from his marriage to Charity Reed and she from his marriage to Nancy Crosby, that is why the "half" cousin relationship.

And because there are two generations separating us, that is why we are 2 x removed. And Zola's father, David is my "Half 1st Cousin" that is why Zola and I are "Half 2nd Cousins" . . . clear as . . .

But the fascinating thing is that Zola married Grover Cleveland Dunkle and that has produced a long line of Dunkles in our tree. And one of the females from the Dunkle family married someone from the Wisecarver family and now there is a long line of the Wisecarver line in out tree -- but that is another story.

So that is part of how my searching went this week.

Back to the Nightstand . . .

Recall that we were reading "The Third Coast" each night after finishing up "Stand for the Best". We did that until part of us could not stay awake for the reading . . . so we have placed another book on the nightstand and I will read "The Third Coast" on my own.

We found a mutually acceptable book and have started reading that one:

We enjoyed watching the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno for several years and hated to see him leave. This book brings to light some of the behind the scenes events surrounding those years.

We are both enjoying this book a lot and we have learned a bit of what makes up Jay's world. We miss him doing the "Tonight Show" and even though we record the "Tonight Show" with his replacement we have not gotten "into it" -- maybe in time.

Lastly, What's Next?

There are a lot of things coming in the next few weeks and months to pique our interest -- one of those as I mentioned last post is the return of the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are" next week.

AND, we look forward to the resumption of NFL games and specifically the Forty-Niners. The pre-season games begin in a couple of weeks.

This week on Thursday was the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Niner's new stadium -- Levi's Stadium -- in Santa Clara. A whole new era starts:

Above you can see the Niner's schedule and a glimpse of the new digs. We will be watching that first game with interest and knowing that Super Bowl 50 is scheduled to take place in the new stadium.

It is unlikely that we will ever attend a game in person there -- we actually prefer seeing sporting events from the comfort of our family room where we have the ability to watch or not, as the case may be . . .

That is a bit of our week -- tonight being Saturday, burgers may be in our future . . . see you all in a few!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Some Summertime . . .

Everyday this week the weather has started out with a dreariness that eventually cleared up into mostly muggy type warm weather. We were fooled a couple of times thinking that we did not need the a/c -- but we relented one time almost too late to make a difference.

Out front summer shows up beautifully. We elected to fly the 13 star version of the flag throughout the week. Growing up I remember my father flew the flag mostly on certain holidays. The flag I remember was reportedly one that had flown on one of the ships that Samuel Martin (my Great Grandfather) captained on Lake Michigan.

Above besides the flag are our second batch of white roses across the garage opening and the white Oleanders alongside the walkway and across the street the rosy red full bloomed Crepe Myrtle . . .

Next Week -- Dates to Remember

There are several birthdays coming up next week -- some even recognizable . . .

And nine couples celebrating togetherness . . .

Found on our Nightstand this Week

We finished the book written by Thomas Bloch and enjoyed it thoroughly. "Stand for the Best" recall was written after Thomas made the decision to step out of being the CEO of H&R Block to become an inner city math teacher.

His experiences and success was really quite something. Gail could relate to some of his teaching experiences that he shared as she spent 30 + years in education AND she spent 30 + years at H&R Block.

Before you do the math, many of those years coincided but they were the reason that made the book so interesting -- and I spent over ten years at H&R Block as well . . .

So the other night we began reading a new book --

All about the city of Chicago -- it is a bit heavier than the usual biographies that we read so we may change to a biography with me finishing this one up, we'll see . . . it is very interesting to me so far, but for Gail it is a sleep-aid of sorts . . .

A Look at One Ancestor

My Gr Gr Gr Gr Grandfather John Hiles (Sr) had we think four children. Besides John Jr he also had a son, Christopher (like me). And that Christopher also had a son named Christopher (Jr).

It is the son of Christopher Jr that (thanks to a cousin) I was alerted to how it came to be that his life was ended.
Often we find an approximate death date without any information about the details. And more often than not we don't find any more information for some of these folks.

James Hiles, a 2nd Cousin 3x removed of mine was employed by "Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo Road" a railroad in Ohio back in the 1880s.

The following transcript of the newspaper account from the "Indianapolis Indiana State Sentinel" dated  May 3, 1882 gives the unfortunate information regarding James Hiles:

I am sure that there is a lot more to the story than shared here and maybe I'll be able to find more information. It is interesting to note that 1882 is the year that my maternal Grandfather, Dayton Bumgardner was born and in 1883 my paternal Grandfather Lloyd Hampton Hiles was born . . .

How We'll Wrap up the Week

We have watched a lot of sporting events this summer and that has been very enjoyable. We record all the events and then can zoom through commercials and some of the less enjoyable things.

We never in our wildest imagination thought we would get "caught up" in watching soccer -- but we have.

So tomorrow we will be watching -- along with a few other folks -- the final game of this huge event. We were glad that we got to see the blowout game the other day when Germany trounced Brazil.

We were pulling for the Netherlands to make it to the final, but Argentina won out in the "penalty shootout".

So who to root for -- Germany or Argentina -- we just hope that the game is as interesting to watch as the Brazil game was i.e. with scoring which makes it exciting as viewers.

As someone recently pointed out when the teams are both predominantly defensive that usually means there will not be any blowouts like the 1-0 scores that we see . . .

And Lastly,  Coming Back Soon

One of my favorite genealogy based shows returns in a couple of weeks:

Wednesday evening, July 23 to be exact on TLC. I look forward to each episode as the stars reveal their ancestors stories . . .

That was bit of our week -- it's Saturday and time for burger and fries -- See you all in a few!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Week's End Celebration

The week was filled with activities and of course culminated with traditional 4th of July festivities. We used to have large group celebrations including large numbers of friends & family -- this week, not so much:

This is our "new old flag" now flying during this holiday time. It is fun to see the neighborhood dotted with flags on this week-end. Our town was filled with visitors for the variety of events celebrating the birth of the nation -- and it was the 200th anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner".

This week besides the Fourth Celebrations, we enjoyed watching several of the World Cup soccer games -- though it was not to be in the cards for the U.S. team. We will continue to watch even though the U.S. is out of contention.

Our "rockin' Fourth as we made a rare appearance outside in the heat. Gail & Dino take in the beautiful floral display and peer at folks driving and walking by . . .

Since we have Dino, we don't make the several block trek to see live fireworks though Dino hasn't been noticeably bothered by the noise. Our town does put on a big show -- this year it seemed to go on for more than an hour.

We did though watch "A Capitol Fourth" on TV at the same time as the live show was rumbling outside. The TV show was very entertaining with many patriotic numbers and displays.

Almost a hundred years ago:

My mother, Ruth Bumgardner (on the right) probably on the Fourth of July and probably around 1918 when she would be about 6 years old along with an unidentified companion being patriotic. This was another one of those pictures with no writing on the back . . .

Dates for Next Week

Seemingly a little fewer than last week's . . .

but still quite a few familiar names . . .

The Search Continues

Each week, as I have mentioned before, I sometimes am not sure of where in the tree that I will wind up . . .

Last year in an August post I detailed a little about some of our GOSS relatives and expressing that I really had never met a "Goss".

That still is the case, though I did email back and forth with a Goss cousin this week. I can thank for making the connection. We were confirming some of the sources and information that we both had accumulated.

So many of our connections are made through the "GILLETT" family branch, and this time it is also the case as Mahitable Gillett married Henry F Goss in Viroqua, Wisconsin on the 27th of April 1858.

And last year I detailed one of the seven kids that Mahitable had -- Mary Helen Goss -- and her marriage and family. I had mentioned that I would like to find out more about Mary's siblings. This week I have a bit more information.

Henry Phineas Goss and his wife Mabel (Schwartz) Goss. Henry was born in 1878 in Wisconsin and married Mabel in 1906 in Oregon. One of their children was Robert Henry Goss born 1911 in Oregon.

Henry lived til 1970 and died in Kennewick, Washington while Mabel lived til 1974 and died in Oregon.
Their son Robert married Robbie Gaddis and they had two children (probably living today).

I had no idea that I had cousins living in the States of Washington and Oregon and it was nice to "see" pictures of some of them and to get to know a little more about the GOSS family.

More can be seen at:


Next week I just might respond to an email that will take me in other directions in the family tree. But I found the following among the many pictures of my mother's collection:

The above is one branch of my tree -- in this case my mother (about 4 or 5 years old) is standing in the fork of the tree with her father, Dayton Bumgardner braced in the tree at the top and sadly an unidentified probable family member in the middle . . .

That was a glimpse of our week. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend, tonight being Saturday it means burgers and fries . . .

See you all in a few . . .