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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Some SERIOUS Raining . . .

The rains came in the night AND in the midday, how serious they are I'm not sure -- but I do know that the Series is serious . . .

Between the downpours there was a chance to shoot some of the remaining "color" in the backyard.

The purple flowers are brilliant and the red plant is stunning (we just do not know what it is).

The rest is self-explanatory, but the weather today is definitely -- weird . . .

The World Series though is another thing altogether and I'll mention that later in the post.

Dates from our Tree

The birthdays continue while the anniversaries somewhat are dwindling -- for the time being.

There are over thirty birthdays to celebrate next week with only five wedding anniversaries. We wish the best to all!    

Eighty years ago yesterday our family welcomed
the first born into our midst -- Marv!

He was the first-born of parents who were also first born -- and
we all know about the first born children in a marriage . . .

I am also married to a first-born so I am surrounded with examples.

I have had the privilege of knowing him for approximately 7/8s of his life.

Several of us here in town are about to attend his birthday celebration later today -- which of course will replace our traditional Saturday night burgers.

Above is a small sample (in collage form) of the many pictures that I have accumulated over the years. I was around for all of the pictures except his infant pictures -- I hope to put together another collage in future posts.

Each photo conjures up stories and explanations -- which are so illuminating. I'll report next post on the events of the celebration this evening and maybe even have some more photos.

There is always the "brick-wall" to consider when working on the family tree and the HILES brick wall is no exception -- it is the reason that I branch out and look for cousins in any spot on the tree that I can find them.

New Cousins This Week

Again my week found me all over the tree -- and I did find a couple of cousins that I was not aware of before this week:

 The first that I am showing here is for Wretha Lillie Bumgardner (from my maternal branch). The first thing I thought was that "Wretha" was a misspelled name. But apparently it is for real -- I just never had encountered it before.

I found a picture of Wretha from her High School and one from her College which is really fun. From what I have found so far it looks as though she never married ( a spinster teacher). I will be looking to find additional information about her -- she is a second cousin (one generation apart).

The second cousin that I found this week is Rodney Lee Mohler, from my paternal side, in fact he is descended from Jackson Hiles (my 3rd Great Uncle) making Rodney a 3rd cousin (one generation apart).

I luckily found Rodney's picture and information in "The Young American Patriot" book from WWII.

Eventually I will stumble across the leads that will take me over the brick wall.

On the right is a snap from the HILES website that shows as of yesterday
some recent photos that I have added there.

There are several hundred photos on the site along with stories, documents and other trivia all relating to the families that make up our tree.

To access the site:   HILES WEBSITE  apply for a log in "id" and then
you can explore -- I would be happy to assist if you'd like.

And Lastly . . .

What about those Giants -- at this point down two games to one . . . we need to win today for sure or
even tomorrow for really sure . . .

Above you can see Dino looking through the glass door and the Giants Banner waving in the wind.

I'm glad too that the Giants colors match those of Halloween . . .

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


Saturday, October 18, 2014


What a week -- besides the diversity of weather (heavy rains one day, heavy sunshine the next) the sports world dominated a lot of our time this week:

And as a result, the San Francisco Forty-Niner banner joins "Old Glory" as the display in front of our home.

What happened? The Niners dug deep and pulled out another pennant winning series of games which puts them into a contest with the ALCS winner, the Kansas City Royals.

If you click on the chart you'll see how they got there and that there is one more blank line to fill in -- the World Series winner line . . .

Dates From the Tree

A lot of birthdays, including both of my brothers who celebrate next week. One his 80th and the other his 67th -- so that means at this moment we three boys are in our 60s, 70s and 80s . . . I wish both the happiest of days!

And there are seven couples celebrating wedding anniversaries.

An Amazing Story

I probably am the last to know about this, but I first read about this in Eastman's online blog, at, and decided to check into it . . .

To me this is one of the most interesting quirks of a genealogical nature.

If you click the article on the left you'll see what I mean.

John Tyler, our tenth president who was born in 1790 -- that is 224 years ago, STILL has two living grandsons today.

Apparently Tyler had 15 kids and at least one of them very late in life in fact 1853.

And that son, Lyle Gardiner Tyler had at least two sons late in his life -- 1924 & 1928.

These are the two Grandsons that are still living,

Above are pictures of both the Grandsons -- Lyle Jr and Harrison. I found both boys college photos, they both went to "The College of William & Mary", and then some more recent photos of each.

For the fun of it, I have started a "Tyler" tree in and when I need a break I update that along with the several other trees that I have there.

But thinking about the spread of years -- both of my grandfathers were born in the 1880s, and neither had children that late in life. I have to wonder how many other stories like this exist.

Another Amazing Story

At least to me (and to Gail)! I am jealous of Gail's paternal line in that we know that it came from England -- and we have all kinds of proof for that.

Thomas Bouldron, Gail's GGGrandfather was born in 1820 in Lartington, Yorkshire, England.

We have known his mother's name but until this week we did not know Thomas' father's name.

From we can see the proof of not only Thomas's birth date but ALSO the name of his father per the attached record.

Clicking on the document to the right you can see in the hand written section at the bottom, the facts regarding the birth -- January 30, 1820, previously we only knew the year 1820.

And we can see the date of Baptism (Catholic) as the 31st of January 1820 along with his father's name -- William Bouldron and his mother's name Elizabeth Jatten.   

Clicking on the left you will see the linage from William to Gail and the folks in between. 

Little by little we fill in the missing pieces. And when you watch shows like "Finding Your Roots" you see amazing discoveries all the time.

As more and more records are digitized we can expect to find more and more facts, that is why checking back in with for example can mean a new discovery possibly.

I was encouraged by finding the name of William Bouldron and for getting a definite birth date for his son Thomas.

What will be next?

Well this was a week that seemingly was spent on Gail's side of the family tree more than mine -- mostly because I kept finding interesting people and facts.

Who knew? That "my Gilletts" were not the only
Gillette's in the tree.

It turns out that Gail's side has Gillettes as well, though her side has the added "e" at the end, more like the cosmetic company . . .

Clicking on the right you can see that coming down the Isaac Pine Calhoun line, one of the many Shaffer boys married a Gillette, Margaret to be specific.

Thanks to and their school year
book photos, I was also able to put a picture to
Margaret's name as well. It's all magical.

Thinking About the World Series

If you are maybe thinking about attending maybe one or more of the games next week -- clicking on the left shows the schedule as it is so far.

I have been to games in Kansas City (years ago when I traveled to that city) and to games in San Francisco (though not to AT&T Park) but looking at the examples of the ticket prices on the bottom left -- FOX TV is just fine.

Actually as a matter of fact these days I prefer TV games. The ticket prices to the left are game tickets only -- not travel, not parking nor refreshments . . .

We are saving a bundle and a second mortgage and we'll be getting appropriate commentary along with our choice of  refreshments and decorum.

We look forward to the World Series games -- who played last year . . .

It is Saturday -- and that means -- Fish-Fry Friday Saturday . . . See you all in a few!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

It's The Beginning of "That" Season . . .

Fall, almost winter but always "that" season comes to mind now even though it is only October. And of course the inevitable rush:

It is hard to imagine that as I write this there are less than 75 days before Christmas. The weather here is still in the 80s or so each day and the kids are still playing baseball in the fields behind our house.

I realize that there has been snow reported in different areas of the country, but for the most part the weather seems still summer/fall-like . . .

We are gearing up for the holidays so-to-speak. The discussion comes up as to whether this year our tree will be on top of a table or not . . . we're still working on that one. And then there is the dilemma of just how many decorations we will bring out of storage.

More on all of that as the weeks progress . . .

Dates from the Tree

Not that tree, the family tree:

Still a sizable amount of birthdays and there are
also eight couples celebrating wedding anniversaries.

Cousin Community

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs I do not really recall our family talking very much about our ancestors or other relatives all that much. I have mentioned this fact many times in previous posts and I realize that our family was not "all" that different from many others in that respect.

In watching shows like "Finding Your Roots" I see that almost every featured person on that show shares that same sentiment -- that parts of their family were never really talked about and thus the history has been hidden -- both the good and the not-so-good.

To the left is a map showing one route from the Hinsdale area to the Rockford, Illinois area. It is about an hour and a half drive -- probably longer in the 1940s and 1950s, but not that long.

This week while noodling around the net I uncovered the fact that we did in fact have a "cousin community" in Rockford. Who knew?

I have only been to Rockford a couple of times -- maybe -- and that was just passing through. But if I had known how many cousins lived there I might have stopped to visit a bit.

And, surprise surprise, it is the Gillett family again that shows up. Thomas Reuben Gillett, my Great Great Uncle (check out on the right) and his wife Sarah had seven children some of whom went north from Wisconsin and some of whom went south from Wisconsin and some stayed in Wisconsin.

Pretty much like families of today. But the children who went south wound up in Rockford, Illinois.

There are many many Gillett offspring still in the Rockford area -- and the historical and current newspapers have all kinds of stories and pictures of these Gillett families.

In future posts I'll share some of what I find in the papers -- but for now I have added some of these folks to the  website.

From the Photo Bin

It would be so nice if there were names on all the photos that I have accumulated, but that is far from the facts of life:

In the above photo collage there are two pictures of my mother, Ruth Bumgardner and two pictures of her brother Stewart Bumgardner each one with people that are not identified and are very likely relatives.

If anyone can identify them -- that would be terrific. The odds of that happening, well that is something else again.

And Lastly

The post-season Major League Baseball games continue to entertain -- as long as the team one is rooting for wins I suppose.

But the San Francisco Giants have scrambled once again to now be playing in the seven game National League Championship Series (best of 7 games) and they start today.

Click on the above and you can see how each team got to this level. The ALCS started yesterday with the Royals ahead in that series 1-0.

The National league starts today in St Louis with the SF Giants and the Cards. In most of these post season games there is a higher level of intensity and the viewing pleasure is "that" much greater.

And so that is a bit of our week. It is Saturday and that means burgers sloppy joe's for a change . . .

See you all in a few!

Saturday, October 4, 2014


The whole month of October could be taken up by watching the Major League Baseball post season games. If each series of games go the full length (5 & 7 games) there will be a lot of games -- but the 7th game of the World Series is slated for October 29th . . . Wow!

We did manage to watch the San Francisco Giants last regular season game, which they won over the San Diego Padres and the post game celebration led by the very enthusiastic Hunter Pence.

For the Giants it was then off to Pittsburgh for the Wild Card Game which fortunately they won as well. And that win allowed them into the National League Divisional Series where they currently have a one game win over the Washington Nationals (of a 5-game series).

We watched about 90% of the regular 162 season games of the Giants -- probably the most baseball regular games that I have ever watched -- it was fun to get to know the team better.

If you click on the above you can see the other players that will determine the two teams that will be in this year's World Series. Usually this is about where we start watching -- when the games mean something more than just "another win or loss".

We still are enjoying NFL football as well, but this month they may be taking second fiddle, especially given the performance of "some" teams and the numerous scandals.


There are still a fair amount of birthdays next week for folks in our tree AND there are nine couples celebrating wedding anniversaries.


I am sure most of us have a ton of photos stashed away in various places around our homes -- and of course I do as well.

A lot of the photos that I have are ones that I have taken over the years so mostly I know who is in the picture and usually where . . .

But, I also have a lot of photos that I have inherited that I don't always know who all the players are in the picture, nor do I know where the photo was snapped.

The picture to the right above is a case in point -- I do recognize my mother, Ruth Bumgardner in both of the pictures -- but I do not know who the other folks are nor do I know where and exactly when the picture was taken.

I can make some guesses as to "when", which I guess to be in the late 1920s or possibly 1930 at the latest. Both of these pictures show my mother before she and my father married and she is in the company of other possible beaus.

I could also guess that the location might be Iowa or even Marinette, Wisconsin , but I just do not know.

Speaking of Photos . . .

Every week I begin by searching for relatives and details about their lives usually starting in and looking at the "shaking" leaves that they present as hints. that process can take me all around many branches in our tree which keeps it interesting.

The hints that turn out to be pertinent I add to my public tree and then to my Family Tree Maker Tree (sometimes Geni as well) and then finally to

The above are some of the more recent thumbnail photos that I have added to my website. I really enjoy having pictures of relatives -- even distant relatives -- and I usually crop them for the purpose of the tree.

I add other photos to the website as well including headstones and pictures of documents such as Census records, Draft cards and marriage certificates among other things.

To the left is an example of how far and distant some of my "finds" are . . . if you click on the charts you can see how two folks from the above are related to me and then to you.

In the left charts, both subjects happen to be cousins -- second and/or third respectively.

It is interesting to learn of the new surnames as I find the husbands of some of the "Hiles" women or descendants of "Hiles" women . . .

Both of the above are related from the descendants of John Hiles, Jr and Charity Reed as I am.

Another Photo Collage

Dino does have his won "tree" and we know back about four of five generations for him and we have actually met some of his siblings.

But we do not know if three of the four pictured to the right are in his tree or not -- but they sure look like they could be . . .

Dino celebrated his 3rd birthday in the last two weeks and as he starts his 4th year he continues to amaze us with his gentleness and his patient ways of doing things.

I feel a little guilty that he does not get to go out as much as when he was younger and in the "program" but he seems to have settled into our routine and enjoys his days.

And Finally . . .

In the last week I did "attend" two webinars put on by "Family Tree Webinars" and learned a lot from both sessions.

AND, I watched the second show of "Finding Your Roots" the second season.

This series continues to be absolutely tops. This week they featured three sports heroes -- Billie Jean King, Derek Jeter and Rebecca Lobo.

I am amazed (as were the heroes) at the amount and type of information that was uncovered.

It would be nice if I could uncover a fraction of what "FYR" reveals. I did hear a statistic this week that only 5% of facts concerning genealogy is online, meaning the other 95% is out there to be found.

So much to do, soooo little time . . .

That was a bit of our week, it is Saturday Night and that means possibly "burgers".

See you all in a few!

(two of my three siblings are traveling this week . . . one to Portland, Oregon, one to Door County, Wisconsin, I wish them both well on their trips)