August 31, 2015

Tracing The Tribe – Genealogists Helping Genealogists

siddur

Siddur or Jewish Book of Prayer

A few days ago I had a question about the correct terminology for a Hebrew/English book I had, and remembered that Schelly Talalay Dardashti has Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog in my Geneabloggers group.  I haven’t met a genealogist yet who isn’t willing to help out anyone, so I asked for her assistance.  A big “thank you” to Schelly!

Schelly told me it’s “Not a Bible (Torah, Tanakh, Chumash)” but a Siddur or Jewish Book of Prayer.  This book was in my mom’s step mother’s possessions and Mom inherited it when Grandma passed away.  I could see that it was in fairly good shape, with the embellishment on the front being of ivory or something like it *, some well-worn red velvet underneath but with a broken clasp.  Schelly said she has two of these and it sounds like hers are in much better condition.

Just for curiosity’s sake, I did a search for similar siddurs and found that the value is around $175 USD.  I’m not selling it or anything, but I was a bit surprised at the asking price.

My step grandma was Lillian Vera Epstein b. 1904 Minneapolis, MN; d. 1975 Everett, WA.  We called her Grandma Eppy.  She was the second wife of my grandfather, Elvin Bernhard Moline and they lived in Seattle, WA for many years. “Al” Moline was a lumber salesman, the son of a furniture maker from Orebro, Sweden.

* As it turns out, it’s Ivorine.

1951 Hawaiian Passenger List – Elvin and Lillian Moline

1951 Elvin Moline - Lurline2

One of the perks of having my family tree on Ancestry (for FREE)  is that while I’m not actively searching their databases, they are doing it for me.  When they find a “hit’ I get an email and a link and can go right to the document or record.

That’s what happened today and I’m so happy to know the actual date of when my Grandpa Elvin (Al) Moline and his second wife Lillian Epstein Moline actually sailed on the Lurline to Honolulu, Hawaii.  At that time it was the Territory of Hawaii since it wasn’t made a state until 1959.

It looks like the duration of their ocean cruise there was five days.  Of course, now I wonder if they came back the same way, where they stayed in Honolulu and what wild and crazy things those two kids did there.  (He was 57 and she was 45) I wonder how they got to San Francisco where they boarded the ship?  At the time, my aunt Joyce and her husband Frank were in Formosa (not yet Taiwan) where Frank worked for an airline.  It’s possible they, or just Joyce, flew to Hawaii and met my grandparents and then they all flew home to Seattle together.  That’s all speculation though.

What’s interesting also is that when you read the words passenger list you usually think of someone who’s emigrating or immigrating from another country, not just going on vacation.  Aloha!

 

(Click on image to get full size to download)

 

Second Marriage Record Might Reveal Original Swedish Surname

1925 Moline - Skagerlind marriage, cropped

Since I’ve been researching my Swedish family of Moline, I’ve always known that John (Johan) Emil Moline was the son of Lars Petter Molin(e).  But, following some Swedish naming customs, Johan Emil Moline might have come to this country under the surname Larson.

This is when documenting each step really gets important. I have the original Moline family bible pages that belonged to John Emil Moline. There is no mention of the surname Larson on any of the pages. So, what makes me think great grandpa was a Larson at some point?

Today, as I was searching for the date of my Great Grandpa Moline’s second marriage to Hannah W. Skagerlind in the Washington State Digital Archives, the marriage license I found stated the witnesses were Axel and his wife (no first name given for her) LARSON.  The date was 19 August 1925.

Was Axel just visiting Washington to attend the wedding and be a witness? My great grandfather did have a brother named Axel Linus Moline. Was this Axel Larson a relative…perhaps a cousin? John Emil Moline did have another brother in the United States: Fridolf Ferdinand Moline who, until 1920, was residing in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fridolf later moved to Indiana.

Right now, one thing is for sure: John Emil Moline married the second time to Hannah Skagerlind in 1925.  Only time will tell who Axel Larson was!

1925 Moline - Skagerlind marriage, cropped

Dad’s WWII Love Letter To Mom

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

Eighty-nine years ago today my dad was born in West Plains, Missouri to parents Will and Minnie Smith Yates.  Although Dad passed away in 1996, his life lives on through letter and photos from his past. This letter was written on the eve of his 24th birthday and he was feeling “pretty old”.

He and Mom had married in Seattle at her parent’s home on Queen Anne Hill, and way back in the 1980’s Mom and I took a trip down memory lane by going back to that house. It just so happened that the owner let us come in and look around on that sunny summer day. Mom was thrilled as she showed me her old room upstairs, and even more so to have me see the marble front fireplace which she and Dad were married in front of on February 5, 1944.

Dad’s love letter of March 15, 1944 was written from Quillayute NAS where he was working after coming back from a tour with the Navy in New Calendonia. As you read in the letter, housing was at a premium, but they did eventually find a little one room place in Forks so they could be together instead of Mom living with her parents. Mom said that place was so small they could stay in bed and reach out and light the woodstove!

I have to say, I don’t remember my dad ever calling Mom “Darling” when we were around…

Thinking of you on your special day Dad, and missing you lots.

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

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