August 31, 2015

Genealogy Comes Naturally To Heirloom Gardeners

Flowering Almond 2007

The Story Behind The Plant In This Photo

(continued from Pentimento blog post How To Propagate A Flowering Almond Shrub)

The flowering almond above is a ‘child’ of a plant that was already well-established in our yard way back in the 1950’s.  That was in Tumwater, Washington and the house was an old farmhouse with many old trees, shrubs and flower bulbs planted everywhere.  My brother and I, along with our parents lived in that house from about 1952 to 1982 when my parents moved to live with my grandpa in Olympia.  In that year my sister-in-law Kathy got a start from the Dennis Street flowering almond as did my mom get one to plant at my grandpa’s place.  I chose not to get a start off the plant at that time, even though I was living in Washington too, and as it turned out we moved to Florida for four years and came back in 1992.

It was just a few years ago that I decided I finally had a place to plant a start of the family flowering almond.  It makes me smile to think about the original one from my childhood that always heralded spring with its pretty pink blossoms all along the stems and how it’s not just people who “migrate” but they also take their plants with them!

Did any of your ancestors bring plants with them when they migrated?


Discover

2010: Jim and Carol Yates Wilkerson Wed 40 Years

Jim & Carol wedding closeup 2

I was just 20 by a week, and Jim was 21.  We were married by Judge Thorpe at the court house in Olympia, Washington at about 7:30 PM.

Jim’s parents and a friend had driven all the way from Iowa to attend the wedding (parents do that sort of thing) of their only son.  We didn’t know they were coming, and it was quite a surprise when they drove in the driveway of my parent’s house in Tumwater a couple days before the wedding.

Jim and Carol Yates Wilkerson

09 September 1970

Those attending the wedding were: Gale and Joan Yates (my parents); Dave, Kathy and Eric Yates; Lenny and Judy Wallace; Will and Josie Yates; Ron Rutherford; Rose Atchinson; Loren and Toots Wilkerson.


Jim and Carol Yates Wilkerson

40th Anniversary 2010

Do You Have Favorite Family Members?

Minnie Smith age 12

Are there favorite family members you like to research or write about?  Until someone else posed this question, I hadn’t really given it much thought just who I seemed to write about the most.  I think about several of my ancestors quite often though, and wish that I could have met them.

Minnie Smith Yates

I’ve written about my two grandmothers before in Growing Up Grandma-less where I explain how much you lose when you never get to know your grandmother.  I think about my Grandma Minnie Yates quite often, especially now that I have two granddaughters of my own. What would I have learned from her? I wonder…

Donald, Helen, Joan, Jeane and Joyce Moline

My maternal grandmother, Helen Nordgren Moline, had a very short life, but she left us with a mystery.  Well, several mysteries.  She was killed by a hit and run driver as she stood on a corner in Seattle in September of 1929.  At the time, she was already living away from her husband, two adopted children and three biological daughters.

In 1930 Grandpa Moline and the three girls are living with another young woman in the house, presumably the adopted daughter.  But where was the adopted son Donald Moline?  And, why two adopted children when they had three girls? Did Grandpa want a boy so bad to carry on his name that he wanted Grandma to keep having babies till she ‘gave him one’, and when she had my mother, the youngest and another girl, did they decide to adopt?

~~~

There are plenty more people for favorites in Jim’s family too:

Henry Skaggs, one of the “long hunters” who ( I was told) had an unnatural relationship with his granddaughters.  He’s not my favorites because of that, just the long hunter part because he was one of the pioneers who went into Kentucky with men such as Daniel Boone.

My husband Jim is a descendant of Henry Skaggs through Henry’s marriage to Susan Scott. Their daughter Nancy Skaggs married Peter DeSpain. Of that union a son, John DeSpain married (3) Mariah Perkins. John and Mariah’s daughter Mary Elizabeth DeSpain married John W. Whitmore, a Medal of Honor recipient in the Civil War. The DeSpain and Whitmore families settled in Des Moines County near Pleasant Grove, Iowa.  Peter DeSpain and Nancy Skaggs had 19 children.  I know she probably had no choice, but I sure admire that woman!

Mariah Perkins DeSpain

Who are your favorite ancestors? Let me know by leaving a comment, please.

Allene Moore Chapin 1915 – 2010 Newspaper Woman

Allene Moore Chapin pg 1

Her brother Dick Moore called her Mary Allene, but when she and I first began to share family information she instructed me to call her Allene.  Allene will always be thought of in my mind as one of those “grand gals” with spirit and the spunk to speak her mind.  Sadly, I never got to meet her in person, but we had many spirited phone calls, during one of which she told me my voice sounded like my Grandma Minnie.

Allene was one of the few cousins I could talk to about grandma who knew her as their aunt.  Allene was one of those people who would make you feel like family from the first moment you met.  No fussing around, just come on in and sit a spell.  I loved to listen to her speak with that fine Missouri sing-song twang I remember so well from my Grandpa Will Yates and his side of the family.

As one of the founding members of the Ozark Spring Chapter of the DAR, Allene was instrumental in having me join their ranks.  It was for sentimental reasons that I joined that chapter instead of one here in Washington state.  Allene wanted to be one of the ladies who signed my application for membership as a tribute to my grandmother.  As it turned out, I wasn’t able to join through her Patriot because there needed to be more documentation, but I was able to tell her of a few “new” ones, including my

Captain Thomas Poindexter

.

When I said “spirited” to describe Allene it was our conversation about the “Oglethorpes” that I remembered.  Many years ago Allene, Pauline Pond, and Ruth Dixon put together a family tree of sorts from what they knew and remembered hearing from their ancestors.  When I began looking for my ‘Oglethorpes’ in Clay, Overton and Jackson, Tennessee I soon found out that there were no Oglethorpes of any kind there.  What was there were the Osgatharps and they had been in that part of Tennessee for generations.  I had to send her tangible proof of the family name so she would believe me! Once she had that though, and found that our line connected to Richard Osgatharp/Osgathorpe who had served in the American Revolution, she was accepting of the name change.

A wonderful lady has passed from our midst, but she will never be forgotten. Even if you don’t know her I hope that you will take a few minutes to read her obituary by her son that was extremely well written . I’m adding the two pages as thumbnails. Please click on them till you get them to the size to make them more easily read.

Page 1

Page 2

Rest in Peace Allene

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