October 20, 2017

10 Family Reunion Game Questions

Getting Acquainted Game – Family Treasure Hunt

1. Find two people who traveled over 200 miles to the reunion:

2. Find the mother with the most children.

3. Find the oldest and youngest persons.

4. How many children did Grandma Minnie have?

5. Find three people who married into the family.

6. Find three children who are currently on a sports team (soccer, baseball, etc.)

7. What country did Grandpa Moline come from?

8. What relative used to work on a fishing boat?

9. How long has the Whitmore farm been in the family?

10. Who has written a book?

This is a good game for kids because they can go with their lists in hand and ask the adults who are chatting without causing too much interruption. Of course, you can tailor your questions to fit your family fabric. Keep it to between 12 to 15 requests, so it only takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Are you having or attending a family reunion soon? What would you like to do at a reunion? Would you like to see more posts about reunion?

For a much more extensive lists of resources about reunions, please visit Cyndi’s List.

Family Heirlooms – What Would You Take In An Evacuation?

When the dust has settled, or the waters receded, most people lament that they “should have taken the….”. What would you take if you had to evacuate in an emergency? I suppose the logical next qualifier would be, “How much time do I have?”  

If I had just a few minutes or more, I would look for the cat and grab him and get out of the house. I would try, because he is a living being and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least make an attempt to save him. At age 16, he seems like an heirloom.

Given more time, like an hour, I would grab all the family pictures and documents that I have stored in boxes. Depending on what kind of emergency I was facing, I am glad that most of those things are backed up on disks and also shared online with other family members.  


As I look around my house, I see many things I cherish, like the two tintypes in frames that I believe to be my 5th G-Grandmother Deborah Holmes and her husband Miles Yates.


I have a picture taken of my mother with a metal toy car that was given to her when she was about a year old in 1924. The toy was made by Lehman and I still have it. It needs to be fixed, but I love it because she loved it too.

I have a beautiful hand crocheted tablecloth that I would hate to leave behind too. When my mom passed away there were many linens she had inherited from her family as well as my dad’s, but the tablecloth was always something I remembered that my grandma would have on her dining room table during the holidays before we would remove it to replace it with a white damask one she always used. When I got married, I had to have a tablecloth just like that when we were in Germany and entertaining our Air Force friends for the holidays. Luckily, German stores sold them by the dozens. 


One of the only heirlooms that belonged to my Grandma Minnie Yates was a child’s toy flat iron, and my dad let me have custody of it over 30 years ago. It has a wooden handle which is a little “toasted” after many times of being on a wood stove in the past. It is still in good shape all these decades later, but then, the other parts of it are cast iron! Can’t you just see some little girl ironing her doll clothes with it “just like mama”? (From the looks of it, I really need to dust it!) 

I feel very lucky to have all these wonderful treasures in my possession, but as I tell everyone else, I am just the caretaker for the next generation. 


I am participating in a Meme for GeneaBloggers at Facebook using this topic. Please join us! (See how below). 

Julie Cahill Tarr at GenBlog has a great post about Family Heirlooms (http://juliemc77.livejournal.com/4474.html).

She discusses not only the need to backup data but also how to be prepared to take heirlooms with you – and how to decide what to grab and what not.

Write a post on your blog explaining what you would save and why (include a picture if you like). If you’d like to participate, please send Julie an email (joodles77 AT Comcast DOT net) with the link to your post by September 13. She will post them on her blog the week of the 14th.

A Visit To Old Bordeaux

[Due to a blog glitch, I have re-posted this story.]

Bordeaux, WA circa 1910

Last Friday, my aunt Twyla and Uncle Wally Yates, my cousins Edris and Jack Harbeston, my brother Dave Yates and his wife Kathy, and my husband Jim and I, went on a little adventure so Wally could visit “one more time” the old town of Bordeaux here in Washington state. Actually, the town is not in existence anymore, but some things are still there.


Our trip on May 9th was made after we had a nice lunch at Dave and Kathy’s, and our weather couldn’t have been much better for this time of year. Warm and sunny enough to be comfortable, and we got lucky and bypassed any rain.



In our Suburban, and Dave’s Yukon, we drove from my brother’s place near Tenino, WA via Old Highway 99 North, turning left at 93rd Ave SE and we then headed west to the Littlerock Road. My uncle Wally was in our vehicle, so as we drove along he would spot different points of interest along the way and tell us about them. Some were known to us, some, were not. At one point on the Littlerock road as we rounded a curve, he said that it was where his brother Guy had been killed in a car accident in December of 1938. He said the curve had been straightened out considerably in the last 70 years and it doesn’t look dangerous at all now.

My Yates family settled in Bordeaux around 1925, even though Grandpa Will Yates had made the trip from West Plains, MO many times before that year. When Grandma and Grandpa moved to Bordeaux, Grandpa’s brother Lem and one of his sisters (Lydia) already lived there which always makes it easier for any new arrivals. My dad Gale was the oldest boy as he was born in 1920; the next boy was the previously mentioned Guy who was two years younger. The youngest boy, Waldo (aka Wally) was born in 1927, a couple years after they arrived in Bordeaux. So, Wally lived in this logging town from his birth until 1942 when the mill closed.



Even though Wally has macular degeneration in one eye and the town no longer exists, I know he could see it in his mind’s eye just like it was yesterday. As we drove up the Bordeaux road, and past one of the old vaults that had been in the hotel, he began to get his bearings even better. The old Bordeaux house where the family lived is still there, but of course is not owned by the family any more. My Grandmother, Minnie Yates died of botulism poisoning in 1932 from eating unheated home-canned corn. In 1936 my Grandpa remarried to a lady named Josie Scribner and she worked up at the Bordeaux house as a nanny and housekeeper for the two sons, Joe and Bruce. Wally had been one of the few kids allowed into the Bordeaux house to play with the boys when they were home because his step mother worked there.

The drive up to the house has a metal gate and a sign that says it is private property and protected by armed guards. This may be because most recently the house was owned by Curt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love. It may have been bought by someone else now, since it was up for sale at one time to pay off the debt, but for us, it was not a place we could visit on our trek.


After driving around on Bordeaux Road from Keen’s corner all the way up to the Cedar Creek Correctional Center at the end, we doubled back and stopped again at a wide spot in the road near the little creek that runs on the south side. This is most likely Cedar Creek (my family pronounces it “crick”) and it is now just a gentle caretaker of the old pilings and cement blocks that are the only evidence that the town and mill were once located there. We got out of our vehicles and began to meander around, first just by the road and taking pictures of the Bordeaux house through the now thick alder and fir trees. Someone found a trail on the south side of the road and while my cousin Jack explored the woods up on the house side of the road, Jim and Dave, with Wally following more cautiously behind, headed over the makeshift bridge and on up into the southern hillside where they found some old brick remains of the mill.


I don’t know for sure if Wally got a true reconnoitering of where the town and the old houses he remembered were, but I think he enjoyed the day immensely. The only downside to the day was when Twyla was trying to cross a little rivulet and she lost her footing and fell face first down into the mud. It wasn’t a total ‘face plant’, she landed on one side, but she was all muddy, and eventually cold and I am sure she was more than ready to get back to Dave’s and into some dry clothes!

Click here to see all 44 photos from this trip on Flicker


Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #1


L-R: Cerilda, Myra and Jim Yates

This is the only photo I have of my Great Grandmother Cerilda Yates and to me, it’s priceless. After having seven children Cerilda died an unneccesary death from “child bed fever”. What that amounts to is unclean conditions when she was giving birth. We do have a group picture of her surviving siblings taken some decades later, and most of the women look very much alike. Don’t you just love the dress Cerilda is wearing?

The photo is special to me too because it’s the only photo we have of Jim Yates’ younger sister Myra. Myra died from tuberculosis in 1888 when she was twenty-two years old.  Jim and Myra had both migrated from Roane County, Tennessee to Howell County, Missouri with their step-uncle Gideon Morrison.  Another sister, Lydia, was left behind in Tennessee because she was “too young”. I am not sure what that means, but, in any case she stayed in Roane County and married Clement Clark.


Another mystery is that if you look at the enlarged version of this photo and compare it to the tintype above it looks like both women are wearing the same pin at their neckline.  Since Myra Yates was born in 1866, and it is possible this tintype was taken sometime in that era, the woman in the tintype is certainly not Myra. It is possible that the picture is Mary M. Kelsey Yates, her mother.

As a side note, when I was looking through the Missouri digital archives for death records for our Yates family I found two for a Deborah E. Yates who died 22 September 1888.  That’s the same date Myra died, so I think that her real name was given. My family is ‘famous’ for going by nicknames and middle names, darn it all. The name Deborah is significant because that was also the name of Myra’s grandmother. Deborah Holmes b. sometime around 1825 was married (1) to Miles Yates, and (2) to William Deatherage Morrison. William D. Morrison was the father of Gideon P. Morrison with whom Jim and Myra had migrated with to Howell County, MO.


I am participating in Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt at Genea-bloggers on Facebook. Won’t you join us?!

Week #1: Upload your favorite picture and talk about it on your blog. Answer the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter and explain why it is your favorite.

From “Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog. 52 ideas. 52 weeks” by Amy Coffin at We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com)

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