November 23, 2014

Family Photos – Herb Harbeston 1910 – 2013

Andrew Harbeston

Herb Harbeston

In my rush to get the obituary for Herb Harbeston posted this week, I didn’t have time to add some of the photos I have for him. They aren’t going to be in chronological order, but they are all of Herb and his family.

Herb Harbeston's 90th b-day

Andrew Harbeston

Andy Harbeston – Herb’s Father

Herb & his mother

Herb and his mother Rebecca Smith

Herb Harbeston 1927 Elec. Eng. school

Herb Harbeston – Electrical Engineering School 1927

Herbert Hadley Harbeston 20 May 1910 – 23 Dec 2012
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How To Use Genealogy Criteria To Improve Your General Communication Skills

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Make Yourself Understood

When I first began doing genealogical research I was participating in online message boards and mailing lists. One of the things that really became apparent to me early on was that I needed to be specific to make myself understood for the best communication results.

For instance, if I was in a chat room it was imperative to say for whom I was looking, where they had lived and what time frame. Subject lines needed to include surname, location, and possible years, etc.: “YATES, Roane, TN 1840-1918” is one example. On message boards and mailing lists, it was much the same, but I could also include more in-depth information such as collateral names, etc.

Who, Why, What, When and Where

I’ve noticed in this era of shortened messages via Twitter or texting, many people don’t make themselves specific enough when speaking verbally to one another. I know they are trying to be expeditious and get their thoughts out while they have them fresh in their minds, but really, you are short changing yourself and your listener to leave out some facts. The “who, why, what, when, where” of old should always apply.

So, if you are speaking to someone, even if it not about genealogy, make sure you include whom you are speaking of, the location you are citing, and give some sort of time frame at the very least. Example: “When I was in Howell County, Missouri in 1972 I didn’t get to see any of my Yates, Pentecost or Smith cousins because we were just passing through West Plains and I was just picking up a postcard for my grandpa Will Yates who was then living in Washington State, but was born in the Brandsville area.”

Many times, my conversations with family and friends just leave me more confused as they jump from one person to another. It might be their style of conversation, but my advice is, Slow Down and think about what the other person might be hearing. If you get to the end of your story and people look puzzled, or need to ask for clarification, you need to spend extra time thinking about how you present your thoughts.

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Herbert Hadley Harbeston 20 May 1910 – 23 Dec 2012

I may have met Herb and his wife Fran many years ago during my childhood, but my first real recollection of them was at the home of my great aunt Martha’s son Claude when we attended an after funeral gathering of family at Claude and Billy’s home in Tacoma, Washington. Fran was my cousin through the Yates family, her mother being Myra Yates who was an older sister to my grandfather Will Yates. Myra had married Joe Prantl 30 December 1908 in West Plains, Missouri.

tintypes

It seemed like the only time I would see Fran and Herb was at funerals. Fran passed away in 1996, just a couple months before my dad did in June. I began communicating by letter with Herb (he had hearing loss, so telephoning was out of the question) because my dad, for whatever reason, had given Fran some tintypes that my grandpa had brought back with him when it made a trip to Tennessee in the early 1910’s. I was working on our family tree at a pretty good clip at that point and since Fran had passed away (she too had been doing some family genealogy at one time) I asked Herb if I could get the tintypes back from him for our family photo records. He agreed, and we drove all the way over to Soap Lake, WA to get them.

We had a wonderful visit with Herb, his sister-in-law Tracy and Tracy’s husband Rick (Herman) Richardson, and my brother Dave and wife Kathy who had traveled along with us that day.

Through the years we have stayed in touch with Herb until his Alzheimer’s condition made things more difficult for him. At one of the facilities he was in years ago, he greeted us warmly and admitted he didn’t know who we were, but he was grateful that we had come to see him. I think that will tell you just how warm and loving he was. Herb was a centenarian of the first order!

English: Oroville Dam, CA from the air, high w...

English: Oroville Dam, CA from the air, high water unknown date (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just a little side note: Working as an engineer and concrete inspector, Herb was involved in the building of the Oroville Dam in Oroville, California.

Herbert Harbeston Obituary

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Eli Thadeus Smith 1891 – 1913

Harvey L. Smith

The Harvey Lawson Smith Family circa 1914

It’s sad when anyone dies young, and quite often even after death their likeness can still be included in family photos as evidenced in the image above.  My grandmother Minnie Caroline Smith (young lady in the middle in white) was just nineteen when her next older brother Eli died of tuberculosis in 1914. Eli T. Smith had died the year before but a skilled photographer was able to insert his image into this family photo for posterity.

Harvey Lawson Smith 1855 – 1899

The father in this family, my Great Grandfather Harvey Lawson Smith, was also deceased, having died in 1899 of spinal meningitis after he spent time nursing a male friend who had been ill with that disease.

The Scourge That Was Tuberculosis

There was no prevention of the TB in those days, and it affected others in my Yates family too, but no others in this family at the time the picture was taken.  Eli had been working at the Pease flour mill in the West Plains, Missouri area when his condition worsened and he was confined to bed at the home of his mother and step-father James William Milburn Yates.  Jim Yates’ own younger sister Myra was a young victim of TB dying at age twenty-two in 1888.

Eli Thadeus Smith Death Certificate Found

Since I began my Yates genealogy the middle name of Eli Smith had just been the middle initial T.  While searching  the Missouri State Archives death records this weekend I was able to obtain a PDF copy of Eli’s death certificate.  The informant on the record was Eli’s mother Mary Elizabeth ( nee Pentecost, Smith) Yates which makes the documentation of his middle name to be accurate.  At last, I was able to fill in his middle name as Thadeus.

Eli Thadeus Smith death certificate (PDF)

Sources:

Missouri State Archives

Yates and Allied Family Tree on Ancestry (free to view)

More:

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