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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!

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