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I Remember Grandma

Grandmothers are special. There is no doubt about that, and some take on the role with a heartwarming zeal. Grandmother’s have lived through hardships and arrive at old age with a wisdom that supercedes all others. No one can take a grandmother’s place in your heart. I love to remember Grandma and am sorry that I was not able to spend more time with her before she passed, to ask more questions, and to know her more deeply. One thing that is for sure, Grandma loved us, and there was never any doubt about that.

Before my Grandmother Marie (Blum) Pierce passed, she left us a little writing I would like to share with you. She titled it:

I RECALL

by Marie Pierce

I remember the day Mother was raking hay and the horses run away and she came with hair hanging down clothes all ragged.  She had been drug behind the rake sometime before she got loose, was bare foot, lost her shoes. Was all back and blue and how scared we were and cried.

I also remember the prairie fires. How Dad would have to plow a furrow guard. No wonder I have nightmares.

Grandma Mossinger

This is what stands out in my mind most of all. We were getting dinner. Had put on a big granite pan of potatoes on the stove to cook. It was one of those which was smaller at the bottom then and big around at the top, and didn’t set on the stove very good as we always took off the lid and set them down next to it so to get done faster.

She no doubt went to check to see if they were done and the kettle tipped and hot water poured out onto her leg. Don’t remember if both legs or just one and she was bedfast for sometime. It just didn’t heal so someone said a lamb manure poltice should be good.  Talbotts had lambs so we got some manure from them and tried it, but she then had a stroke and was sometime before she passed away.

Ida postponed her wedding until after she passed away. It seems Ernest was home. Maybe he was going to Taxidermist School in Omaha then and was just home a few days. It seems it was he who told of her being delirious and trying to climb the walls.

I just don’t seem to remember much about her prior to that. Have been trying to bring something back. That was such a tragic thing. I would have been 10 years. old.  We were bed pals.

GRANDMA’s PRAYER

Ich bin klein (I am small or little)

Nein Herz ist rein (My heart is clean or pure)

Sell Niemand darin wohnen (shall not therein dwell or live)

Als Jesus allein Amen (Save Jesus alone)

 

And we always said the Lord’s Prayer in German and I still do to this day.

 

 

Who will take care of Grandma?

A mother can make room for 10 children but not one of those 10 can make room for one mother.  God gave us his blessing and she lived to be 89.

THE KEEPER OF GRANDMA

Who will take care of Grandma. Who will it be?

All of us want her, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Lets call a meeting. Lets gather the clan:

in such a big family there’s certainly one.

Who’s willing to get her a place in the sun.

Strange how we thought she’d never give out,

But see how she walks, arthritic no doubt.

When people grow older- they become such a care.

She must have a home, the question is where?

Remember the days when she used to be spry.

Baked her own cookies and made her own pie’s?

Helped with our lessons, tended our seams,

Kissed away troubles, and mended our dreams.

Wonderful Grandma we all loved you so,

Isn’t it dreadful there’s no place to go?

Just one little corner is all she would need.

A shoulder to cry on, her Bible to read.

What nobody want her? Yes there is one,

where she won’t have to worry, wander or doubt,

and she won’t be our problem to worry about.

Pretty soon now the Lord will give her a bed,

But who’ll dry our tears, when Grandma is dead?

(I found this in a scrapbook of Grandma Marie’s after her death. I don’t know who wrote it.)

 

I REMEMBER GRANDMA

by Susan Pierce 2010

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Grandma, is the time we went to visit her in Omaha where she lived with her brother Martin. I recall that she had baked sticky pecan rolls that she had just taken from the oven in anticipation of our visit.

During this visit Daddy took us all to the big new mall for a shopping spree. Being a bunch of contry kids in the big city you might imagine our excitement. We split up, the girls were  to stay together and the boys were suspose to stay together. I imagine we had a meeting place and time though it doesn’t stand out. When we all got together we were missing my brother Cliff. He was about four or five at the time. Mom, Dad, Charline, and Jeff went in search with the help of the mall officers. Grandma and I took the rest of the kids to the car. In all the excitement Grandma accidently shut the babies fingers in the car door. After a two hour search and the malls closing, Clifford was found. His explanation was that he got into a big box that went up and down. During the search someone stole all the purchases that mother had made.

By the time the family all made it back to the car we had lost all day light. Grandma directed dad to the freeway and we got lost and drove for hours before we found our way back to Grandma’s. Once there we made up beds in the attic. There was all kinds of neat stuff up there.

I remember hearing sirens from ambulances nearby. Where we came from that was a rare thing.

Another memory perhaps one of my earliest memories of Grandma was when my mothers brothers were killed in a car accident in December of 1961, Grandma came to stay with us as my mother needed to be with her family. We lived on the farm south of Narka, Kansas. The weather was cold, Charline and Jeff were in school, and Grandma was trying to entertain Henry and I with coloring books. Henry and I were having a contest to see who could color Grandma the prettiest picture. I got my feelings hurt somehow and took mine to the upstairs determined to color Grandma the prettiest picture in the whole world. Grandma sent Henry to tell me to come downstairs saying it was too cold up there. I refused, and she finally came to get me. I resisted by sitting down on the top of the stairs and she pushed me one step at a time down the stairs with her foot. I remember being really mad at her, but we made up as she fixed my hair and tied the sash on my dress as we prepared for visitors.

I remember Grandma trying to get me to take a nap when I was about five. I didn’t want to so she’d say “Come and lay with me awhile, I need a nap.” I’d lay there and the next thing I know I’m waking up and she was gone.

When we lived in Byron, Nebraska Grandma would visit the neighbor women and talk to them in German. She always dressed up to go to the store. I never understood that as we were country kids and there wasn’t much to dress up for where we lived aside from church on Sunday.

One time while visiting, she took it upon herself to change all the beds. She couldn’t figure out how to run the washing machine so decided to wash the sheets by hand in the kitchen sink. Boy was my mom mad when she came home! There were nine of us and we all had our own beds. We didn’t wash all the sheets at once or we didn’t have enough to remake all the bed.s

Not too long before Grandma died she visited Mom and Dad in Missouri. Mom went to her shop and left Grandma at the house. When Mom came back several hours later she heard water running and she found the faucet in the bathroom had been left turned on full blast. When she told Grandma, her reply was “What a Woman!”  (this has become a family reply when we do something not so smart!)

When I had my first child, who only lived one short day, Grandma wrote me a letter of love, this still comes to mind, she apologized for not being able to be with me. Upon the arrival of my second son it was Grandma who commented “he has Venus` eyes.”

When Jack and I were married we made a special trip to Murdock, Nebraska to get Grandma for the wedding. On the way home a bird flew into the windshield of the car and out of reflex, Jack covered his face. Grandma laughed about it for miles.

The first time Grandma saw me smoking she exclaimed “Oh, you’ve learned to smoke.” I was about 16. She never said another word about it.

Grandma was my biggest help when it came to uncovering the family tree. She put me in touch with Uncle Martin who helped me a lot, and it was at her funeral that I met Herbert Blum, my dad’s cousin, we fast became friends and much of what I know from the Blum side of the family came from the two of them.

One time when Grandma was visiting Aunt Carol, Jack and I went to visit with her and took her out to dinner. I was so surprized when she said she wanted pizza and beer. (she was about 85). I told my mom and she said “Well, she is a German!”

Grandma always encouraged me when it came to my religious training and I recall how she voiced her pride in me when I was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran church. Until her death, I did not know she was Lutheran.

She was very proud of her grand children and her great grand children.

 

I REMEMBER GRANDMA

by Mike McKenzie 2010

Dennis Pierce, Mike, Karen, Ellen McKenzie

My favorite story about Grandma involves a fishing trip. I don’t remember how old I was, probably 4 or 5. There is a picture in the family album…mom has it.

Grandma packed a lunch in a wicker basket and we headed back to the creek NW of her house on the farm near Reynolds. I remember it was a hot sticky day. We were there for hours with no luck. Grandma was using her cane pole. She lifted her bobber out of the water and said “Lets try one more place.” She lowered her line next to a log and almost immediately she hooked a fish. The cane pole was no match for the fish and broke. I can vividly remember her fighting the fish and pulling him in hand over hand talking to him as she did.

She knocked him in the head with a hatchet, pushed a stick through the gills and had me carry it back. At the time the fish seemed huge but the pictures show it to be about 5 lbs. The folks were waiting for us when we returned. They were wondering where we were but not worried because Grandma could always take care of herself.

This is how I remember Grandma: Tough self sufficient, caring, do anything for anybody, and make the best of a situation. She always looked for the good in people. I think of her often and have told Linda many stories about Grandma. Linda is the new woman in my life. She likes Oregon so we plan on making a trip out there in the next few months. Maybe we’ll stop and say HI.

 

Mike McKenzie

I REMEMBER GRANDMA 

by Dennis Pierce 2010

Grandma with great grandson Soan Snyder

Grandma Marie Pierce

After Grandpa Pierce died, he died too soon for me to see him, but he was a good worker and a good man from all the stories I heard.

Grandma Pierce was always busy doing and making things. She lived in her trailer for quite some time and always seemed happy making the best of each day. She stayed in pretty good health right up until when she died.

We all miss her.

Dennis and Loralie Pierce

 

I REMEMBER GRANDMA 

By  Karen McKenzie Lewis Lehr

I have so many lovely memories of Grandma: picking daisies, hot steaming rolls out of the oven, warm fuzzy slippers at Christmas time, listening to German lullibies, and her soft hands.

But the most touching memory I have of Grandma, which still brings tears to my eyes, occurred in January, 1974.  My first child, Melanie, was 2 weeks old. We drove to Belleville, Kansas to visit my parents and Grandma Pierce. Grandma hadn’t seen Melanie yet. Melanie was all bundled up as it was very cold.

When I carried her into the house, Grandma was sitting in the living room so I walked over and said “Here is your great-grandaughter, Melanie Marie.” Grandma took her gently, and slowly unwrapped the little bundle of blankets.  As she finished, she held Melanie up to her, gave her a hug and said quietly, almost reverently, “I never thought I’d live to see the day I’d hold my daughter’s daughter’s daughter.

The room was totally quiet as Grandma held Melanie. She counted her toes, smoothed down her wild red hair and spoke quietly, privately to her new great granddaughter.

Watching Grandma get acquainted with Melanie touched me in such a wonderful and emotional way, that it still holds a special place in my heart as one of my most special memories of Grandma Pierce.

 

Dear Susan,

Here is the article you requested about Grandma Pierce. Sorry that it took me so long to write it. It was a very difficult task for me because of the strong emotions behind it. I still cry when I think about Grandma. Having to write about my memories of her, forced me to get out of the denial stage that Grandma was actually gone.

Best of luck with your project. I’d really appreciate a copy of your finished memoirs.

Sincerely,

Karen McKenzie Lehr

THATS ALL FOLKS

Thanks for sharing this tribute to my Grandmother Marie Blum Pierce.

It’s amazing how we  we all have different memories, and things that come to mind when we start thinking of our grandparents. What kind of things do you remember about your grandparents? I’d love to hear your stories.  I wonder what will come to mind when my grandchildren think of me? One hundred years from now…what do you think your ancestors will want to know about you?

Tell your grandchildren stories…what it was like when you were growing up, how you feel about things, what is important to you. It is how you live on in the hearts of your grandchildren.

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Historian

 


Santa Claus is Coming and So is Black Friday

Santa Claus is Coming and So is Black Friday

Christmas is creeping up on us and though there are some that enjoy going to the mall and wrestling with the hustle and bustle of Christmas crowds when the weather is cold and nasty, the majority of people are happy these days to stay home and order their purchases online. Remember the day when you waited impatiently for the Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalog to get there. We would spend hours going through the toy section of the catalog dreaming of what Santa would bring us. Now we browse sites like Amazon and Ebay and dream of what we would like.  That being said I am going to show you a few things that you might consider while shopping for your family genealogist.

Even A Genealogist Needs A Tool Box

One wouldn’t think there was much a genealogist would need but actually we have quite a list. I hope to share some ideas with you that might make the genealogist in your life smile.

Some things to consider:

Three ring notebooks, File Folders, Plastic Sleeves, Scrap booking supplies

One never has enough room for storage of family papers, photos, and records. These things are essentials for the genealogist. You might even want to add some fancy boxes to store pictures and papers in while the work is in process.

Scrap booking supplies could include fancy papers, scrap books, plastic sleeves for finished projects, markers, pens, embellishments, glue, scissors, stamps, stickers. The list is endless.

How about a nicely framed family tree chart that can be filled out and hung on the wall. You can find free printable ones on Pinterest and have it framed at Michel’s or Hobby Lobby. Your genealogist is always trying to find new ways to show off their work.

Journals make nice gifts and genealogist love having them to write things down in. We seldom let any bit of information get past us.

Try filling the Tool box with some of the things your genealogist will use!?

SUBSCRIPTIONS

How about a one year subscription to Ancestry or My Heritage?

Has your genealogist had their DNA done?…if not they would love a test and you can buy them for anyone. (Some are being sold in stores now.) There are several to choose from and they will probably have a special on them with the holiday season coming up. Ancestry, 123 and ME, and My Heritage are the most popular but there are other good ones out there. A simple search of  Amazon will bring up a few to pick from. I will be doing a review of some of the different ones down the road.

Perhaps you have a beginner genealogist that needs some help. There are some great learning tools in the Kindle store to help your genealogist in their search. Aside from that there are tons and tons of books on genealogy and history to choose from. Try Kindle Unlimited! 

Computers, Scanners, and Ipads

One of my favorite tools is the good ole Ipad. It’s invaluable for your traveling genealogist. The camera comes in handy for scanning photos and taking cemetery pictures that can easily be uploaded to the program of your choice.

External hard drive

Back up is always important so  consider an external hard drive. Make sure it has some a good amount of storage on it.

Scanner

A good scanner is also a necessity for the genealogist that collects records and pictures. They can scan their records to files on their computer as well as up load them to their tree on ancestry. I personally would love to have a mobile rechargeable scanner that could be taken with me when I visit other family members in search of old family photos and documents. I especially like the ones you can feed the pages into as it makes the work seem less agonizing! 

Laminator 

This is a fun tool to help in saving papers though I have heard that they are not good for archival papers. That is always something to keep in mind when preserving documents. You might want to check google to see what some of the best methods are. (a little research doesn’t hurt). Personally I use mine most in saving news articles after they have been scanned so that I can put them into a scrapbook. It might not be the best way to save them but it works for me and after it’s been scanned it can always be retrieved. Don’t forget to throw in an extra box of sheets to go with it!

Printer

A good printer is also a necessity for your genealogist, and while your at it don’t forget the ink and paper! We go through a lot of that and the expense adds up so any help you give your special person in that area is always appreciated.

Thumb drives

Thumb drives are a handy tool for all genealogist. They are essential for library visits and backing up your work.

Software programs

Software programs are always a nice add on to the tools of a genealogist. Check out some of the latest family tree software. It might be just the thing.

Computer

A new computer? I personally have my eyes on one with double monitors. Double monitors! That is so handy when moving information from one program to another without having to type it all in. Simply copy and paste! Someone told me that there are new computers with built in scanners!!! WHAT! I would love one of those.

 

I hope this relieves some of the pain of “WHAT DO I GET MY GENEALOGIST” for Christmas and helps you choose something for them they will love! I KNOW I would if you are looking for something for me!

As always, leave me a comment, and if you have ideas to add please do share.

Merry Christmas Shopping!

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Genealogist

 


Know What you Know

Know What You Know

One of my biggest pet peeves when researching my family tree is people (especially on Ancestry) who just click and call it good. Pretty soon someone else comes along and sees that information and assumes it is correct…without asking, …and they add it to their tree …and soon you have a lot of misinformation floating around out there and it’s all undocumented.

I’ve had it happen on my own tree. I’ve added a bit of info to research to my tree and next thing you know there are several other trees that have added it to their tree and assume it’s a fact.

I can not stress enough the importance of

sources and documentation.

I recently came a crossed a tree that had listed William M Green as the father of Robert Green. I sent them a message and asked them what their source was as from everything I have found… Robert Green’s father was born in Virginia and this William M Green was born in Tennessee. Hmm. My first clue that there might be a problem.

This person replied to me that she just clicked the green leaves and she just knew. She stated that she didn’t get into sourcing but that if I had a source that would prove differently she would change it. Well, I didn’t have a source, but I won’t add a family member without one.

My questions then would be…then how do you know?! There are literally HUNDREDS of William Greens to choose from.

The point is if you do not have some sort of documentation that that person is the right person, you are leading someone else down the wrong path. If you are serious about tracing your family you want to be sure you are tracing the RIGHT family and not someone else’s. I for one want my tree to be as accurate as possible, so be sure to prove your connection with documentation and collaboration.

 

COLLABORATION

Collaboration is an important part of the search. If someone has information I don’t, I always go to them and ask where or how they know what they know.

1. They might have found sources that you are unaware of

2. They could have a closer relationship to the family and have family information that you don’t

3. They may have access to family bibles and albums that could help you

Always go to the person that shared the information first and document what they tell you. If you don’t keep notes on the information that someone gives you…down the road when someone asks how you know what you know, you won’t remember. I save all the emails and correspondence I have with others when collaborating so that I can go back to the notes if I need to.

DNA has become a huge part of sourcing. If you get enough matches on people with the same line, you will start noticing a pattern in the trees. More and more the same names will start popping up which will be a big reason to follow their progress as it is most likely you will connect somewhere. Getting in touch with distant cousins could just lead you to the clue you have been looking for. One thing I love about cousins is…They are almost always willing to help you. When you have more than one dog on the scent you are more likely to find what you are looking for! (NO, I didn’t call you a dog!)

Most genealogist are eager to share and they want to know what you know as well. Two heads are better than one when it comes to investigating lineage. A simple” because I know” is not going to be sufficient for a true researcher, but someone who is just into clicking little green leaves will take it as a fact. .

TAKE NOTES

If you think you might be on the right track but are still in the process of researching a clue or a hint, put a comment or note on that person so that the next person that sees your tree will know that you haven’t yet proven it as a fact. Perhaps keep your tree private until you know the information is correct. I ALWAYS put a note in the comments if it’s a clue that has not yet been proven.

For example: while looking for the eleven children of Samuel Hays in Indiana, I added Alfred Hays as a son of his, as all the information seemed to add up to that, but I am not absolutely positive that he belongs in the family. I added him as a son, but I put a note on him stating that I had not yet proven this to be a fact and stated my reasons for believing that he was. The next person that comes along and sees this note…may just have some information to help prove or disprove it.

BE COURTEOUS

Be courteous when it comes to contacting people, and be polite. I can’t stress this enough!

I’ve found information that wasn’t correct and added it to my site without checking and then had people contact me …in not a nice way…to tell me it was incorrect. I simply answer them and tell them that I appreciate the information and thank them for letting me know. I don’t, argue with them or comment back rudely. What is the point in that? Simply thank them for the information and let it go. Seriously…you appreciate the information, correct? So a simple thank you is all that is needed. No need to take offense because they did. We are all human, we all make mistakes, simply correct the information provided, thank the person and move on.

You never know when down the road you might need to contact this person for more information and it’s best to stay on good terms. Personally, I’ve never quite understood the need for rudeness anyway. We are all just doing the best we can. So don’t get offended and don’t be offensive.

 

AS ALWAYS, Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it. If you have anything you would like to add…please leave me a comment, or just say howdy!

 

and Happy hunting

The Pierce Family Historian

 


Monetizing your Passion for Genealogy

Do you have a HUGE Passion for Genealogy?

Have you ever wondered, how could you make a living doing something you love and do everyday anyway? Work is not work when you are doing something you are passionate about.

I know myself I always wondered what I could do to monetize my passion, and get paid for something that I absolutely love to do. Perhaps there is something else that you are passionate about or you would just like to find your passion? Say dogs or animals for instance…have ya ever given thought to the fact that there might just be a way that you can turn that into income?

We’ve all heard the talk about what it cost to open a franchize, or run a brick and mortar type of business. We know that if you really want to do something you will find a way. We know that going to school for four years (or more) to get a degree is the most preferred avenue…but maybe just maybe there is another way?

Perhaps you’ve tried MLM’s or selling at home to make a few extra bucks but just nothing ever worked out. You took the training, you paid for training, you watched the videos and followed the advice of everyone from your upline to the guru’s and nothing worked. The truth is most MLM’s are designed to see you fail and 97 percent of people will.

What if I told you that you don’t have to do it on your own?

What if there was a coaching program out there that will guide you step by step, inch by inch, and that didn’t cost an arm and a leg to participate in?  What if I told you you could do it for FREE? What if there was a community in place that WANTS to see you succeed? What if I told you there are people waiting for you to ask for their help? Would that give you a little more incentive to get started with your own business?

I was like you.

I wanted so badly to find a way to make a few extra bucks at home. I know people are doing it online all the time. I mean every web page you go to will take you to a landing page asking you to sign up for their newsletter. I started taking every training there was available (and could have gone to college for what I’ve spent!) but the frustration of not know how to do what they were training was just total overwhelming! And I was still asking myself “HOW DO THEY DO THAT!”

You have to have a BLOG, you have to have a web page, you have to have a landing page, and a capture page, etc etc etc BUT NO ONE WOULD HELP set it all up!

There was no one to talk to.

There was no one that would show you how. Some said they would help but when you ask a question it would be crickets…or they would re direct you back to a video that didn’t answer your question the first time. I spent hours and hours watching videos and going back through the steps. Heck, half the time I had no idea what they were even talking about.

Eventually I just gave up.

I just didn’t understand enough or know enough to do this. One day I was signing up for a group on facebook that offered help tips for business owners and my world took a different path. There was a link there that said if you wanted help to click here….so I did…and it took me to a page that told me about WA. At the end of the article the guy said that if I would sign up he would HELP me …that I would never be ALONE! For some reason, I believed him.  I sent him a message…not really expecting to hear anything back from him and asked him if he really would help.

I got the most awesome response from him.

DID I MENTION IT WAS FREE!

I joined and was anxious to get started.  I had this “ya,ya…but it’s free only til you want to know something”…playing in the back of my head…”then they are going to make you pay for it!”

This is not the case with WA. They have the most awesome online community in place where all your questions can be answered within minutes…NOT DAYS.

They literally walk you through step by step so the average “no clue” person can make sense out of it. It’s all done in a very laid back manner that is easy to follow, and you can work at your own pace. NO PRESSURE! As a matter a fact they help take the pressure off.

No HYPE get rich schemes here either. They tell it like it is. IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME, COMMITMENT, AND PERSISTANCE! but if you follow the plan and the steps they lay out…you can do it like the big guys.

That was four months ago

I can’t begin to tell you how my life has changed. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time… that it’s now time for me to give back! I want to see YOU succeed at your passion also. And I will be there to help in each and every way along the journey. All you have to do is ask, right along with the rest of the community cheering you on to success.

Check it out! I’m sure you won’t regret it.

If ya have any questions at all leave them in the comments below and I’ll get right back to you! I so look forward to working with you.

Oh right…Did I mention it was FREE?

I wish you the best of success!

and Happy Hunting

The Pierce Family Historian.

 


UnIdentified Family Photos: Steps to become a detective

Become a detective

If you KNOW who this is please contact me!
Most likely a McCollum, Green, or Kopsa

If you’ve been at the search for long you have undoubtly collected boxes of pictures along the way. Most online history software lets you upload your pictures to the tree. Having a picture to put with your ancestors profile in the tree helps to bring them to life and gives you a feeling of knowing them just a little better. But what happens when someone forgot to put a name or date on the back of the photo? Now you get to spend hours trying to find who it is in that Photo and take to step to becaome a detective to unravel the mystery.

Finding historical photos is easier now than ever. Some of the same websites you’ve searched for genealogy information also have databases of old photos contributed by members—some of whom may be your distant cousins. Local historical societies, state archives and similar organizations, realize  the power of pictures and are placing digitized historical photos and illustrations in online collections. Photo-sharing sites encourage folks to post photos of all ages.

FACEBOOK

There are all kinds of groups geared towards genealogy on facebook, and they are easy to join. Just click the join button and answer a few questions and vola! There are groups that help restore the pictures, some for free. There are groups to help you in your searches. I have met many a cousin from the same family lines in these groups. There are groups where you can upload your pictures to ask for help in identifying ancestor and there are groups looking for family members of lost family photos. Actually, facebook has a group for just about anything these days.

“A photo is a window into the lives of your ancestors.”

There are several sites that have to do with identifying and finding lost photos. Most of your major genealogy sites have archives of photos shared by others. By doing a simple keyword search of the surname you are looking for might get you your desired result. Some also allow you to upload photos you many have to the site to share with others or find help in identifying photos that have lost their names.

Ancient Faces                                                           The National Archives

Dead Fred                                                                   The Library of Congress

Ancestry

Family Search

My Heritage

Digital Public Library of America

Denver Public Library

Flickr

The Ancestry Hunt

The Ancestry Hunt has a huge list of places to search right down to the state that your ancestor may have lived.

ALWAYS REMEMBER

Copyright Considerations for Using Online Images

Finding an online photo of your ancestor or his house is exciting especially if it’s someone you’ve been searching for for years, but pause before you drag it to your desktop or right-click to copy it. How you’re permitted to use it depends when the image was taken, who took it, and what repository now owns the physical image, but most genealogist are willing to share. I for one love to share my information but sometimes it is disheartening to see that it’s being shared in others trees with no mention of the one who originally shared it.
Most photos taken before 1923 are in the public domain, although a library or museum may own the original and license its use so be careful. When searching a repository’s image collection, look for information about usage or rights and reproductions. For example, many institutions allow you to download an image for research or personal use (such as to keep in your genealogy files or include in a family album), but require a licensing fee for publishing it (such as in a family history book or on a website). If you’re in doubt,  always write to the institution for to be sure. Always acknowledge the source of the image, even if there are no usage restrictions and give credit where credit is due.
Images taken by government agencies, such as the Farm Security Administration, are usually OK to use as you see fit; check the online image details for confirmation.
Practice courtesy and caution when you find an ancestral image someone has attached to his or her online family tree. Before you use the image in a book, on your blog or website, or elsewhere, contact the contributor for permission. Thank the person and credit him with source. But remember that the submitter may have gotten the photo somewhere else, possibly without regard for its source or copyright status. Try to find out where it came from, and alter your plans to use it if necessary.
  • Google gives you a photo search tool in Google Image Search. Type your search terms as you would for any web search, and Google will find images from web pages that contain those terms.
  • Don’t overlook old newspapers as another potential source of ancestor photos. A graduation announcement, profile article or obituary might have included a picture.
  • Browse street and building photos on websites such as HistoryPin and WhatWasThere, which let you look for images “pinned” to locations on a map. This is a really cool site that ties historical photos to google maps. I especially like this as I am not satisfied with just a name and date. I want to go where my ancestors have gone before me and visit the places they frequented. It give me a sense of belonging. Here you might find a picture of your ancestors house, or farm. It’s really cool. Check it out.

For more information on copyright and online photos, see the chart on the Cornell University website and study the Copyright category of the Legal Genealogist blog by Judy G. Russell.

 

Langdon’s List

Margaret Cain Family

 

Is an good place to find information about photographers which can help you in dating photo’s you may have questions about. They also offer for a fee a Comparison Service that might help you solve a mystery to an unidentified photo.

Tineye

Offers a reverse search for finding your ancestor. Upload an image and search the database for likely matches. TinEye constantly crawls the web and adds tens of millions of new images to the TinEye index every month Try it …it’s sorta cool.

ASK A COUSIN

If you have a photo you can’t identify or place…ask a cousin or family member. They might just know something you don’t or might have the same picture in their collection. Two heads are better than one when trying to solve a mystery. Recently I was updating my files and came across a folder of unidentifed pictures that I had not a clue as to where they belonged. I have a group on facebook of all my cousins and I posted the pictures there for help and was able to find several of them simply by sharing with cousins.

Youtube.com is a good place to find videos that will help you in restoring old photos and dating them as well. Pinrtest also is a good source for this.

 

I hope this gives ya a little insight in where to hunt!

As always Happy Hunting! and don’t forget to leave me a little comment! I love hearing from ya!

The Pierce Family Historian

 

 


George Peirce: America’s Founding Father’s

GEORGE PEARCE

My Pierce family lineage in America begins with George Pierce my seventh great grandfather (Pearce as the name appears to have been written by him) who was born in Winscombe, Somerset, England in February 1654, son of George Gilbert Pierce and Margaret Pierce.

There is no doubt that George was among America’s founding father’s of this great nation when you look at the history and see how many thousands of people connect through this line to him and his wife Ann.  What a remarkable heritage he has given us.

George first married Ann Gainer (Gayner), a native of Thornbury, in the county of Gloucester, England, at a Quaker Meeting.  Ann was the daughter of William and Ann (Jones) Gayner.  Ann was born about 1663, at Oldbury on Sever, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England. They were married the 1st day of February, 1679. (date prior to the Georgian calendar).

George and Ann emigrated with their three small children from Bristol, the seaport nearest his residence, in 1684, and had a tract of 490 acres of land surveyed for him in what is now Thornbury Township prior to leaving England.

George was one of the earliest and most influential inhabitants of this township named in memory of the Thornbury district of the country from which his wife Ann was born and raised.  It was a desire on his part to keep up the associations most dear to him.  From all the research I have found he appeared to have great affection for his wife and his family.

Thornbury township, Chester County was organized in 1687 by the appointment of Hugh Durborrow as constable, when not more than five or six families had settled within its limits.  It was surveyed in right of the first purchasers. This township along with Birmingham and Westtown, were the only townships within the limits of Chester County which were organized before 1704. Prior to its founding, the Delaware Indians traveled the beautiful rolling landscape. Both branches of Chester Creek wind through Thornbury and flow to join the Delaware river. The Battle of Brandywine during the Revolutionary War was partially fought in Thornbury Township and George Pearce was most likely among the Militia. It was one of Thornbury’s citizens, Squire Thomas Cheyney, who informed Washington of the approach of the British.

ARRIVAL IN AMERICA

George arrived at Philadelphia prior to Nov 4, 1684 (this being the calendar prior to the use of the Georgian Calendar,  then Feb. being the twelfth month), , which that day he presented two certificates to a meeting of Friends (Quaker) held at the Governor’s house.  One of these certificates was from the Monthly meeting at Frenshay, in the County of Gloucester. The other was from the Thornbury Meeting.

It is believed that he settled on his newly purchased land in 1865, but his name first appears as an active member of Chichester Friends Meeting in 1686. Shortly after which meetings were sometimes held at his house. He obtained a patent for this land September 22, 1685 and settled just two miles down the road from William Brinton of two of his daughters married his sons .

George was strict in his attention to his religious duties. He gave a share of his time to civil affairs and was dutiful to the improvement of the country.  He was amongst the first to be appointed an overseer in the meeting and afterwards became an elder. He represented Chester County in the Provincial Assembly in 1706 and was released of this duty in 1722 “by reason of his age and he being thick of hearing” per his request. This is documented in the records of the Meetings.

CHESTER COUNTY PA

Concord Township, Pennsylvania was formed in 1683. Originally located in Chester County, the township became part of Delaware County when Chester County was partitioned in 1789. “Concord Township encompasses four villages [Concordville, Elam, Markham and Ward] whose past tells the story of Pennsylvania and early America’s development. Located at a vital transportation hub, the Township’s development has always reflected major national and regional economic and demographic trends.”

“Modern Concordville occupies the junction of two of the earliest public roads in the English colonies: Baltimore Pike or U.S. Route One, and Concord Road, laid out by William Penn’s surveyors. The original path of Baltimore Pike lay roughly along the driveway that separates today’s Concord Friends’ Meeting house from “the Grange” building . The buildings on Concord Road at the intersection of Thornton Road and the Friend’s driveway constitute the Concordville National Register Historic District. Many of these buildings qualify for inclusion on the National Register.

“Elam, on Smithbridge Road at Route 202, the next north-south road, and the link between the Lower Counties (Delaware) and the western Pa. counties was home to a thriving tavern and inn industry as early as the mid-18th century.”

“The village of Markham, named for the first governor of the colony of Pennsylvania (where the Friends meetings were held and George attended), lies in the valley of the West Branch of Chester Creek where the present Cheyney Road crosses Baltimore Pike. The village encompasses the Newlin Mill Historic District (Newlin Mill and its buildings, Markham Railroad Station and Post Office, and the William Trimble House and property (of more I will elaborate later), including the only operating Colonial mill remaining open to the public in the United States.”

“Ward covers the old Concord Creek Bridge (also called Ward Run) at Concord Road, near the intersections of Creamery Road, Station Road and Spring Valley. The earliest Pennsylvania mushroom farms and canneries were established there, near the mill complex on Concord Road, and the product called “Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese” was first produced at the dairy on Creamery Road.”

“Concord Township was also the site of the Willcox (family) Ivy Mills, one of the most significant paper mills in the country that produced the paper used for the first currency printed by the Continental Congress. The family mansion also served as the beginnings of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish (est. 1729), the oldest parish in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

(Bibliography: Quoted text from Concord Township Historic Commission. “The Four Villages of Concord.”)

George was one of a company who erected “the Concord Mill”, the first mill erected in his neighborhood, and he acquired  more land. George Peirce did well in America. He was a faithful Friend, a member of the Assembly, a founder of a school at Thornbury, and he owned a good share of the Concord Mill. He tried to do well by all his children. When William Penn came over in 1699(?) George bought 400 acres beyond the Brandywine and divided it between his son Joshua and his daughter, Betty Peirce Caldwell and her husband Vincent Caldwell at the time of his death.

 

THE PIERCE GARDENS

Joshua (my 6th great grandfather) built a log cabin on his part and raised a family. In 1722 he married his second wife, Rachel Gilpin (my sixth great grandmother) 15 Feb 1696- 20 May 1776, daughter of Joseph, who had been born in a cave. In 1730 they built this fine red brick house, at least the western part, with their initials and the date up under the ridge.

Joshua died in 1752, leaving the property to all his children, but the home place went to Caleb, Rachel’s third son, on condition that he permit his mother to “Possess and Enjoy the Chamber above stairs and likewise below, and one Sellar in the west end of my Present Dwelling House. Caleb was “to fetch and carry as much firewood (fit for the Chimney) as his said Mother will burn in moderation.” She was also to have the use of a mare and a cow. There is good inventory of all the furniture in the house but the only books mentioned are the bible and Sewell’s History of Friends. (from  Joshua’s will).

JOSHUA PEIRCE’S HOME, NOW LONGWOOD GARDENS

Caleb soon afterwards married Hannah Greave, a descendant of Dr. Thomas Wynne, who had come over from Wales with William Penn. Among Caleb and Hannah’s children were the twins, Joshua and Samuel, who began bringing fine trees and shrubs here about 1800, planting them around the house. They made the grounds as fine as Mount Vernon or Monticello. They were probably influenced by Humphry Marshall, who lived some miles up the Brandywine.

Many generations of the Peirce family lived here until 1906. It was bought by the late Pierre du Pont in 1915. Finding the old house as steady as a rock, he built a modern counterpart in the back. Always interested in the Peirce’s, he carried on Joshua’s and Samuel’s original interest, and added the gardens, the conservatory and the fountains which are now world famous. He left it all to the Longwood Foundation, so that the place might be enjoyed forever.

George and Ann Gaynor were the parents to ten children.

1. Betty Pierce,   b. 18 Nov 1680, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania d. 27 Oct 1757. Betty married Vincent Caldwell

2. George Pierce,   b. 23 Apr 1682, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania   d. 1690

3. Joshua Pierce,   b. 5 Mar 1684, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania   d. 15 Sep 1752, Kennett Mm, Chester, Pennsylvania. Joshua married Ann Mercer in 1713, and second, Rachel Gilpin, 1722. They were settled in Marlborough, Chester County, and had nine children,  among those were those who planted the well known Aboretum.  Their son George Joshua Pierce is my 5th great grandfather

4. Ann Gainor Pierce,   b. 8 June 1686, Thornbury Township, Chester,  d. 1753, East Caln, Chester, Pennsylvania

Ann married James Gibbons and they settled in Westtown on 600 acres of land, which through his son James, JR., and grandson, also James, was sold about 1708 to Friends for the establishment of the well known Westown Friends Boarding School.

5. Margaret Pierce,   b. 11 July 1689, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania  d. 1689

6. Mary Pierce,   b. 25 Dec 1690, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania   d. Aft 1766, Birmingham Township, Chester, she married Joseph Brinton (son of the afore mentioned William Brinton neighbor of Geroge)

7. Caleb Pierce,   b. 21 Feb 1692, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania   d. 22 Jan 1779, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania. Cableb married Mary Walter, Apr 15 1724, daughter of Goodwin and Elizabeth (Sanguist) Walter, emmigrants. Mary was born Jan 5 1698 and died Dec 1753. They resided on a portion of the ancestral acres, where he died Mar 22, 1770

8. Gainer Pierce,   b. 1 Apr 1695, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania d. 1746 Gainer married Sarah Walter.

9. Hannah Pierce,   b. 21 Apr 1696, Thornbury Township, Chester, Pennsylvania  d. 1753, East Caln, Chester, Pennsylvania. Hannah married Edward Brinton (son of William)

10. John Pierce,   b. 15 Feb 1704, Thornbury Township, Chester, died in his minority.

GEORGE REMARRIES

Ann died 1725 in Thornbury Township, Chester County PA.

After her death George again married widow Ann Webb. From his will it appears that he had great affection for her. They moved then to East Marlborough, Chester, Pennsylvania. This is the land which included the Pierces Park, or “Evergreen Glade”, as it was named by the owner. This is the property in which George conveyed to his son Joshua in 1725, who willed to his son Caleb in 1752, and this is where Samuel and Joshua, established the botanical garden Aboretum. They were succeed by the late George W Peirce, son of Joshua and grandson of George.

The land that was willed to George’s daughter Betty and her husband Vincent Caldwell,consisted of 200 acres adjoining. After their deaths it was purchased by Caleb Peirce in 1758 and then became possession of his great grandchildren of the Cox family. Longwood meeting house and cemetery are situated on a part of it.

George died 19 Jan 1733 in East Marlborough, Chester, Pennsylvania. Below is a copy of his will. I tried to type it as it was written.

THE WILL OF GEORGE PEARCE

Pennsylvaina, Wills and Probate Records

Chester Will Books A-C, Vol, 1-3,1713-1755

 George Pierce

  • Be it Remembered that I George Pierce of the Township of East Marlborough in the County of Chester in the province of Pensilvania yoman being weak of body but of sound and disposing mind and memory Blessed be the Lord for the same do make this my last will and Testament in maner and form following that is to say first and principally I committ my soul into the hands of my Blessed Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ and my Body I Committ to the earth to be buried in a Christian and decent manner by my exe. herein after named and as to the disposing of such temporall estate which it hath pleased God to bestow upon me I do give devise and dispose there of in manner following that is to say IMP my will is that all my just debts and funerall expense be paid as soon as may be after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Ann Pierce the sum of one hundred pounds lawfull money of this province to be paid to her within one year next after my decease together with all the goods of what kind soever she brought with her at my intermarriage with her as also all the rents and arrearages of rents ariseing off and from any interest rights or claims belonging to the said Ann before my intermarriage (by either of her former husbands with all the property belonging to her of what nature or kind soever. ITEM: I  give and bequeath unto my son Joshua Pierce the sum of fifty pounds, forty whereof is due to me I order to be acquited and discharged and that the remaining sum of ten pounds to compleat the afores sum of fifty to be paid unto him within one year after my decease as also to him  and Joshua Pierce his heirs and assign one full and compleat third part of any share and interest in the ground and will and all the utensills there unto belonging in Concord called the society mill to him his heirs and assigns forever. Item: I give to my son Caleb Pierce his heirs and assigns forever one other equall and third part of my share and interest in the ground and will and all the utensills thereunto belonging in Concord Called the society mill to him his heirs and assigns forever. Item: I give to my son Gainer Pierce his heirs and assigns the full and compleat remaining one third part of my share and Interest in the ground and mill and utensils thereunto belonging in Concord Called the society mill to him his heirs and assigns forever as also my part and share in Thornbury Schoolhouse with the Land thereunto belonging to him his heirs and assigns forever. I likewise give unto my sons Joshua, Caleb, and Gayner all my wearing apparell both Linnen and woolen to be equally divided between them. Item: I give unto my daughter Betty Caldwell the sum of fifty pounds to be paid to her within one year after my decease. Item: I give unto my daughter Ann Gibbons the sum of thirty pounds to be paid to her within one year after my decease. Item: I give to my daughter Mary the wife of Joseph Brinton the sum of fifty pounds to be paid to her within one year after my decease. Item: I give unto my daughter Hannah the wife of Edward Brinton the sum of Fifty pounds to be paid to her within one year after my decease. Item: I give unto my grandson George Pierce the son of Gainer Pierce the sum of Fifty pounds to be paid to him with it’s lawful interest from one year after my decease when he shall arrive to the age of twenty one years and if my grandson George dye before he arrive to the age afore that then the said sum of fifty pounds with the interest thereon arising be paid to his four sister to witt  Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah and Susanna or so many of them as is then living to attain the age of eighteen years. I also give all my books to be equally divided between my seven children and that all my household good be equally divided between my four daughter to wit Betty, Ann, Mary, and Hannah within one year after my decease and I give all the rest and residue of my estate of what nature or kind soever to be equally divided between my grand children to be paid to them that are arrived to the age of eighteen years within one year after my decease and those of my grand children not arrived to the age of eighteen years that their share and dividend of the surplusage of my estate (after all my just debts and legacies be fully paid) shall be put out to interest for the use and benefitt of them and shall in like manner be paid unto them at the age aforesaid with the lawfull interest thereon arising from one year after my decease and if any of my grand children dye before the age of eighteen then I order that the survivors under the age aforsaid shall enjoy and equall dividend of the share of him or her so dying notwithstanding all my former dispositions I only give out of the same my block and case together with my steel mault mill to my son Gainer during his life and then to decend to his son George and in case of his death to his four sisters or so many of them as is then living. Lastly I constitute nominate and appoint my dear and loving wife Ann Pierce exectrix and my two sons Joshua and Caleb Pierce Executors of my last will and testament hereby revoking all other will and wills by me made Declaring this and no other to be my Last will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty three-four.

George Pierce

 

 

Sources

Chester County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1713-1825

Colonial Families of the USA, 1607-1775

Family Data Collection – Individual Records

  •  North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000
  •  Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801
  • U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
  • U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
  • U.S. Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820
  • U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935

Thanks for taking the time to share my journey. I hope you enjoyed it! If ya did…please leave me a message in the comments below!

 

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Historian

Susan Holmes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A TRIP TO SALT LAKE: My History Search

Our Research Group

Last year my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip together to the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake to see if we could answer some of our dead end questions. I have to admit that I let Jan do all the planning though it was basically just signing up and sending in our money for our reservations with Family Search Researchers. I saved for over a year to be able to take this trip. It was a once in a lifetime dream come true for me. I had been to the Library before like years ago and didn’t have enough time to really do anything and had no clue as to what to do first. Now with the internet the game has changed and most of what you can do there you can do at home, however there are still records there that you will not be able to find online. Some records are stored on microfilm and the books that are in the library are some you will not yet find online, however, I was told while I was there that they are working on that. With joy in my heart I will share with you my history search.

I have never been a fan of Family Search as it just did not seem user friendly to me. I wasted a lot of time getting to dead ends there, so therefore I pretty much stick to the use of Ancestry.com. Family Search has most of the same records, though they have some that Ancestry does not and vice a versa.

My reservation was for Monday the 10th of September, and from my home in Kansas it was a 14 hour drive to Salt Lake, so I took off on the 8th and headed west. I stayed my first night in Laramie, Wyoming, at a Super 8…which was only 54.00 for the night. I do love the freedom of traveling alone! I made it to Salt Lake on the evening of the 9th where Jan was waiting for me, though my drive through the mountains gave warning that there was a problem with the brakes on my car. I was up and ready early on Monday morning. Registration and dinner wasn’t until 4. This gave me time to get my car into the shop and feel more confident about the safety of my vehicle before the end of the week when I would take off on the second half of my trip. (will write about that in my next post)

At 4 that afternoon, Jan and I went to the meeting room on the first floor of our hotel, signed in, and had a meet and greet with the other researchers in our groups.Some of them were on their 12th year with the group! I’m feeling a bit out of my league!  We were then escorted across the street to the Joseph Smith Memorial, where a wonderful meal had been prepared for us. After dinner we were introduced to our researchers who gave a little info on their expertise.  We were then excused to our own devices until 9 am on Tuesday when we would be given a little walk through of how to use the library and then onto the library where we would begin our search.

Jan and I used this free time to take a private tour of the Joseph Smith building which at one time had been the Hotel Utah, now named in memory of Joseph Smith,  the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. It is located on the corner of Main Street and South Temple in Salt Lake City. It is an absolutely beautiful building with a great view from the upper levels. I highly recommend you take the time to see it if you ever get to Salt Lake. There is a restaurant on the first level and one on the top level. The restaurant on the upper level has a glass roof that actually opens up during special occasions.  It is one of the most ornate buildings I’ve ever experienced!

Tuesday morning came and my excitement grew.  I thought that I was going to FINALLY find Daniel Johnson,

Robert Green, and Samuel Hays!  I had this idea that I would give what information I had to the researchers and they would know exactly what to do and where to look for these dead ends of mine.  I was confident in my belief that by the end of the day the mystery to these aliens would be solved and I could spend the rest of the week searching for other information.

Jan and I, both having Irish Ancestors, decided that we would sit in on the Finding your Irish Ancestors Class before we started the search.

After the class we were encouraged to visit the researcher for help in the lower

level of the library if we were stumped.  We then headed up to the 3rd floor of the

library to get an hour of research in before we broke for lunch. I met with my researcher and explained to her that my first quest was to find Robert Green. She gave me a quick overview of how to use the Family Search site and several areas to look and went on to help the next person in line.

I sit there at that computer all morning punching in guesses and looking for clues to no avail. I am now suffering from a high level of anxiety over my frustration. At noon we broke for lunch and Jan and I went a crossed the street and walked through Temple Square to the building where they offer up a smorgasbord  of food at cost. The food was amazing and they had everything you could think of to pick from. The usual ‘my eyes are bigger than my stomach’ set in and we both ate too much.

We returned back to the library at 2 continued the search. By 3 in the afternoon I was done!!! Overwhelmed and getting NO WHERE really fast, and a headache setting in….I announced to Jan that I was going to go back to the room for a bit to regroup.

That evening we were taken on a tour of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Conference Center. I had little to no experience

with the Mormon faith other than letting the missionaries come in and talk with me when they came to the door, so was not at all in expectation of what we would find here.  We were greeted by a delightful guide who took us through the building and explained in detail what the building was used for and a bit of the history of  Salt Lake City.

The conference center is basically the main meeting place for events revolving around the LDS. It was HUGE! The 21,000-seat Conference Center replaced the traditional use of the nearby

Salt Lake Tabernacle, built in 1868, for semi-annual LDS Church general conferences and major church gatherings, devotionals, and other events. It is believed to be the largest theater-style auditorium ever built. The sound system was amazing!

Through out the building are commissioned works of art that mesmerize one. The color and the light in the paintings were so life like.  In the center is a large fountain and the  roof top is a garden all it’s own where you can

LDS Conference Center

see the city from above. Darkness fell on us before the tour was finished and it was just a short walk back to the room.

 

I approached Wednesday morning with new hope. Today was the day I was going to search for and FIND Daniel Johnson. I was going to let Robert Green rest for a bit and come back to him later. I made a new friend who was an expertin using the library and she gave me a bit of guidance. The researchers camearound every now and then to check on me and see how I was progressing,and then they were on there way to help someone else. Towards the end of thesearch day even they were getting upset with Daniel! How could there be no records of him ANYWHERE!!! At 5 o’clock Jan and I called it a day and went for a bite and then met the group foa tour of the gardens in Temple Square. Oh my goodness!

There was planted every kind of flower and plant one could imagine and the gardens are scattered with statues. Most of the planting is done by volunteer groups of children and there are thirty gardeners that tend the grounds.

Large flowered baskets hang from every pole. Simply amazing!

Thursday morning, a bit less enthusiastic but a little more familiar with the method…I set out on my search again for Robert. Another day to no avail. By now the researchers are starting to get nervous.

They don’t want you to go home with nothing. One took on Robert and one took on

Daniel and we spent the day searching every clue and scenario we could think of.

What if Robert Green wasn’t even his real name? Maybe he was in trouble somewhere

and just picked a name? How is it that he has no parents, no property, to record at

all to give us a clue. No obituary, no cemetery record, no gravestone.  NOTHING!  And Daniel was just as evasive with the exception that I was able to locate a few land records that could perhaps give me another place to look for clues.

We took rest that evening by sitting in on the practice of the Tabernacle Choir. If you aren’t familiar with them you should get acquainted. They were wonderful even in practice.

Friday the researchers didn’t come in until 2…so Jan and I went to the library for awhile in the morning and then took some time to walk the downtown mall area and have some lunch.  That afternoon I had three researchers team up with me and we worked until 5 to no avail. These guys are definitely aliens.  I was so tired when I got back to the room I laid down on the bed and fell asleep exhausted. It really hurts to use the brain that much.

Saturday came and went and I experienced more of the same. The researchers too were disappointed that we came up empty.

Through it all it was a wonderful trip and I so enjoyed it. I learned so much, had a wonderful week with one of my besties, and made some new friends along the way. Would I do it again? Probably not…as most of what I do I can do at home, but YES I would visit the library again. I felt in the end that I had done my due diligence as a professional wasn’t able to come up with as much as I had. I would however recommend the week to a new researcher that needs the extra help in their search. It was worth every penny in the end. 

Sunday morning I took off early and met one of my new found friends in Winnemucca, Nevada for an evening of drinks, dinner, and slots. The following morning I left early and made my way through the mountains of southern Oregon and found myself in Eugene at dusk where waiting for me was my son and his family. Hugs and kisses were abundant as were the laughs and giggles.

Thanks for taking the journey with me! AND if you know where Robert Green and Daniel Johnson are hiding…send me a clue! I’ve been hunting them for 40 years!

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed my trip as much as I did! Or if ya just want to say howdy!

As Always

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Historian


Your Ancestor-Writing A Good Story

Now that you have collected all the information that you can find on your ancestor it’s time to put it all together and start writing a good story for them.

John and Alice Pierce Family Farm

I hope to give you some tips that will help you to write a profile for them that will bring them to life for others that will be searching for them and the descendants of the future.

ORGANIZE

Gather all the information that you have on your person. Your census, marriage licence,  obituaries, pictures, veteran documents, deeds, wills, pictures, letters….everything you have.

Lay it out in order and create a timeline for them, from their birth to their marriage, the birth of children, their death etc. Recreate their life in the best order that you possibly can.

Decide where you want to begin the journey. If you are missing information on their childhood you might want to start in the middle.

Putting your ideas on index cards might make it easier for you to organize your info.

Decide how long you want the bio to be. Do you want it short and to the point or do you want to write a book?

Set some goals for yourself to write at least so many words per day/week/ month. Do you have a deadline?

Use your sources.

ASK QUESTIONS

Think of the struggles, and trials, high points and low points and write them down.

What was life like during their life time. Did they live during the depression, what were the conditions? Were there illness, health problems, deaths in the family?

How did they live/work? What were the details of the kind of work they did? Did they get up early, go to bed late? Was it hard work? How did they get to work? Did they walk, ride a horse, drive?

What was happening in the area where they lived? What kind of house did they live in? Was it rented or owned?  How did they get the home?

What was happening in history? What was going on in the world and how did it affect them?

Write down the accomplishments they may have achieved.

Recreate the memories they left behind.

STAY FOCUSED

Do your best to tell your stories in the order that they happened. Write a little bit at a time. I’ve found that if I put it all down on paper first as I think of it, then go back and rearrange it in the order it should be helps.

Find a quiet time of the day when there are few distractions so that you can concentrate on your writing. Surround yourself with the memorabilia that will put you in the time and place that makes you think of that ancestor.

MAKE IT INTERESTING

Think about your own life and reflect on the memories that you have. Reflect on your own memories and use that as a guide as to what you might share about this person. What are some of the things you remember about growing up and put yourself into the life of your ancestor? Become them and think of what it was like for them. Tell their story. This person you are writing about is not just a name and date…a beginning and and end, they had a life filled with laughter, tears, love, heartache, joy and sorrow. Paint a picture of what their life was.

Go back and re read what you’ve written. Is it easy to read and descriptive? Is it interesting enough that it keeps the readers attention and the desire to read on? Is there information that is hard to follow? Cut out unnecessary words  and avoid long sentences that will make the reading hard to follow.

DESCRIBE THEIR PERSONALITY

Were they a happy person, a worrier, a drinker, a trickster, a teaser? Were they a serious person? Boisterous? Quiet? Loud? What made people think this about them? Bring them to life with your words.

THE CORE

What is your key point to your story? Is there anything especially interesting about this person that you want to focus on? For instance, were they a war hero? Is that your main focus? Or perhaps they raised 10 children?  You could focus on what it must have been like raising that many children, and what it took to do so. Maybe they were a womanizer and that is your main focus. Knowing your key point or core might make your writing a bit more focused.

USE TOOLS

Templates can be useful. If you are having a hard time knowing where to start perhaps a template could help you to get things organized  and give you a layout.

There also helpful books that will give you ideas and questions that might strike some interest and memories in your thinking.

A dictionary or thesaurus are two tools that no writer should be without. Keep your words simple and understandable. Write like you would be telling the story yourself.

EDIT

Go back and edit your work. Sometimes it’s a good idea to get some new eyes on the project. When you’ve read and re read it so many times…you often miss mistakes that are otherwise easily recognizable.  Ask for feed back and take it with a light heart. In the end…it’s your project…but be open to constructive criticism.

In conclusion I hope that gives you a place to start and some tips to make your writing experience just a little bit easier. As always is there is anything I can do to help in anyway don’t be afraid to leave me a comment below and ask. Do you have anything else you would like to add? Let me know that also!

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Historian

Susan Holmes

 

 


John Franklin Pierce An Early Pioneer Settler

John Franklin Pierce was born January 1, 1843, at Sugar Grove, Smith county, Virginia. He was the eldest son of  Alexander and Nancy K (Shaver) Pierce, pioneer settlers of Rye Valley, VA.

1840 to 1860 was a time of prosperity for Smyth Co. VA. Smyth County is a land of rivers and valleys. These river bottom areas provided rich soil deposits that make Smyth County a historically significant agricultural area.  The names of the valleys reflect the agricultural use of the county. Rich Valley to the north is so named for it’s rich soil and the Rye Valley to the south is named for the abundant rye grasses found growing there.  Plainly stated “the oldest and most important industry of Smyth County is farming and grazing”, of which John’s upbringing was clearly engrained.

Agriculturally, Smyth County was established more as family farms than as part of the plantation system prominent in other parts of Virginia. Smyth Country was outside the limits of the “major tobacco producing district” in Virginia. This would account for the relatively low slave population of the 1860 census. Tobacco was grown before the establishment of the County but declined after the creation of Smyth.

 

 

EDUCATION

Education in this frontier was the private responsibility of the family. The wealthier families usually employed private tutors thus John’s early education was received from private instruction by tutors who were employed by the planters of the Valley.

THE CIVIL WAR

John’s school days were limited, owing to the breaking out of the Civil War. Every boy large enough to carry a musket was armed in defense of the Old Dominion. and he enlisted in the Home Guards of Virginia.

The Home Guard was any of several loosely organized militias in various states that were under the direction and authority of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.

Confederate Home Guard units worked in coordination with the Confederate Army, and were tasked with both the defense of the Confederate home front during the American Civil War, as well as to help track down and capture Confederate Army deserters. The Home Guard was a type of militia for the Confederacy. It had a rank structure and did have certain regulations, whether those were enforced or not.

Home Guard units were, essentially, to be a last defense against any invading Union forces. They also were used at times to gather information about invading Union forces troop movements, as well as to identify and control any local civilians who were considered sympathetic to the Union cause. They received no military training, and although they could be drafted into the Confederate service if need be, there are only a few cases in which that happened. The Home Guard was recognized as a type of service to the Confederacy. It was often made up of older planters or others exempted from front line service. What John’s reason for exemption was can only be queried as the true reason is not known. My belief is that it could have been due to his religious beliefs as the Pierce family was mostly Quaker.

The Home Guard of Rye Valley was established in December of 1860 to patrorl and keep order in the county.  Various volunteer companies immediately began to form, including the “Smyth Blues” from Marion, the “Smyth Greys” from Rich Valley, “Jackson’s Old Division” from Seven Mile Ford, and the “Smyth Dragoons” from Marion to name a few. At this point is only my guess that John was in the “Jackson’s Old Division”.

Smyth County became and important strategic point during the war because the saltworks were the primary source of salt supply open to the Confederate Army. Salt production was carefully rationed and each state in the Confederacy had it’s own furnace.

AFTER THE WAR

At the close of the war John went west to Illinois and was engaged in handling live stock for an English syndicate. In the 1870 Census John’s address is listed to be Cartwright, Sangamon, Illinois shortly after he was transferred to Missouri, where he built up a ranch system for his company, but, owing to the rapid settling up of the country, the ranches were sold to settlers and he moved to Clay, Atchison county, Missouri where he completed his energetic and useful life. Many acres of land he reclaimed from the wilderness and his was the hand that hewed, and broke and planted to crops much of the fertile soil he owned. He was a pioneer whose sword was beaten to a plow- share and who aided and witnessed the marvelous up-building of his commonwealth since the war between the States.

As a general farmer and stock-man he succeeded well, for he had ambition, energy and boundless industry, added to good judgment and perseverance. His broad acres, spacious farm buildings, number of farm conveniences and prosperous condition all bespeak a man of no mean ability.

John Franklin Pierce Family about 1882

He reared a large family giving them many advantages. Every comfort and convenience that could be procured was obtained for the happiness of his wife Alice. He was married, January 18, 1874, at Rockport, Missouri to Miss Alice Roena Johnson the only daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Hays) Johnson. To this union were born five sons and three daughters namely: Chas. S: Lon J., of Pittsburg, Pa; Mrs. Geneva A. Vogel of Valentine, Neb.; Venus V., Zane F., Reno M., Mrs. Charlotte M Raubach, of Valentine, Neb., and Sallie D.

John was among  those sterling men who came west in an early day, virile and strong in mind and body, and built up the country by developing its God-given resource-a direct opposite of so many young men of today, full of schemes for easy living, regardless of their work in the world.

In character he was kind, sympathetic and nearly always cheerful, with and honor that was unimpeachable. Truly, his greatest legacy to his children was what he was and not what he possessed.

At the time of his death he was the grandfather to two grandchildren – Donald W. Pierce and Iva Mae Vogel. Several more were to follow namely: Barbara Mai, and Sara Ann Pierce, Venus John, Clifford Wayne, Cecil Lon, and Jaunita “Carol” Marie Pierce, Thelma Maxine and Reno Eugene, Pierce, Pierce Raubach, Charles, Harold, and Alice Buell.

The Family and Friends of John F. Pierce were shocked to learn of his sudden passing away on the afternoon of August 11, 1910. He had been sick only a few hours for this reason the flow fell heavily upon them.

Elder D.M. Philippi conducted the funeral  services and interment at the  Hunter cemetery south of Rockport, Missouri.

 

If you are a relative or just have more information on John Franklin Pierce to add to this post please leave me a comment in the comment section below.

Happy Hunting!

The Pierce Family Historian

 


Venus Vern Pierce- Missouri Farm Boy

Rockport Missouri in the 1800s

Missouri in the 1880s

During the 20th century, Missouri’s economy diversified, and it developed a balanced agricultural and economic sector. By the 21st century manufacturing was fading, as service industries grew, especially in medicine, education and tourism. Agriculture remained profitable, as the farms grew larger and fewer people lived on them. During this time a Missouri farm boy thrived.

The Missouri economy grew steadily from the end of the war Civil War to the early 20th century. Railroads replaced the rivers, trains supplanted steamboats. From 817 miles of track in 1860, there were 2000 miles in 1870 and 8000 by 1909. Railroads built new towns as needed to provide repair and service facilities; the old river towns decline. Kansas City lacking a navigable river, became the rail center of the West, exploding from 4400 population 1860 to 133,000 by 1890. Cities of all sizes grew, as the proportion of Missourians living in communities over 2000 population jumped from 17 percent in 1860, to 38 percent in 1900. Coal mining providing the locomotives, factories, stores and homes with fuel, grew rapidly, as did the lumbering industry in the Ozarks which provided the timber for cross ties and smaller bridges. St. Louis remained the number one railroad center, unloading 21,000 carloads of merchandise in 1870, 324,000 in 1890, and 710,000 in 1910. The total tonnage of freight carried on all Missouri railroads doubled and redoubled again from 20 million tons in 1881 to 130 million in 1904.[178]

Despite the growth brought by the railroads and new techniques, Missouri continued to undergo urbanization during the late 19th century. Labor-saving devices such as the sulky plow, corn planter, mower, and reaper made most farm laborers more productive, with a surplus moving to town. In addition, the competition brought by the railroad generally caused a decline in farm prices after 1873; in 1874, a bushel of Missouri corn sold for 67 cents, but its price dropped to 24 cents in 1875 and remained in the 20 to 40 cent range for most of the 1870s and 1880s. As a result, although the acreage of Missouri farmland had increased from 1870 to 1880, the value of crops produced saw a decline from $103 million to slightly less than $96 million in the same period.[193]

A FARMER WAS BORN

Venus Vern Pierce
29 Dec 1882
Rockport, Missouri

It was during this time that my grandfather, Venus Vern Pierce was born on a farm south of Rockport, Missouri, to John Franklin Pierce and Alice Roena (Johnson) Pierce. He was the third son and the fifth child of eight being born December 29, 1882.

Of his schooling and early days I know very little but can only assume that he grew up learning hard work and little play and I believe that schooling was a part of his upbringing, as it appears from what I have learned that even through the hard times his parents flourished and prospered.  His father, a pioneer having reclaimed from wilderness by his own hands hewed, and broke and planted to crops much of the fertile soil that he owned. They lived on a spacious farm and had all the conveniences and advantages that his parents could procure for the happiness of their family.

 

 

In response to declining prices and opportunities for new scientific methods farmers began forming chapters of The Grange. Oliver Hudson, a U.S. Bureau of Agriculture employee, formed the first Missouri Grange chapter in 1870, and by 1875, Missouri led the nation with over 2,000 chapters. In addition to organizing social events for farmers and their wives, the Grange organized them economically by creating trade fairs and collective sales of farm produce, and the group opened no fewer than eight cooperative stores where goods could be bought at reasonable prices by Grange members. Grange stores operated in several market towns[194]

 

After significant declines during the 1880s, land prices recovered slightly during the 1890s, although the market remained unstable and largely dependent on the particulars of the farm. 

The late 19th century was a time of continuity in terms of crops produced in Missouri, with the majority of acreage given to the production of corn and wheat. In 1900, farmers devoted more than 7.5 million acres (of nearly 23 million total) to corn, although yields declined overall as less productive and fertile land was brought into use. Most corn in Missouri also was consumed in the state by livestock, and hay and pasture land for livestock made up 10.5 million acres of farmland in 1900. Livestock income provided 55% of farm income in 1900, or roughly $142 million.[196]

The 1900 Census shows Venus still living at home with his parents, but soon after he set out on his own.My grandmother revealed to me that that Venus was young when he started farming, and that he  borrowed money and bought a pair of mules and a few pieces of walking machinery. I am assuming that this would be his move to Nebraska. She told that he bought a farm and worked diligently hard to keep it. One night he came home from town and found the farm on fire. He lost everything he had.

In 1908 he is found living in Antelope, Nebraska, apparently having gone there with his sister Lottie, who met her husband in Brunswick and later married him in Valentine, Nebraska. I almost fell off of my chair when I learned that here at the age of 24 he married a Miss Lucy Grubbs 18, at Plainview.  This marriage was a complete surprise to the family as no one had ever spoken of it.  After some research I found that Lucy had been married several times after this but do not know of what the reason for the split was and have not found anything about divorce.

The 1910 Census shows that Venus was again at home in Missouri but nothing is listed as to his occupation. A newspaper article found from June 10, 1910 reveals that he was a pioneer homesteader in the Valentine, Nebraska area as was his sister Geneva and her husband, and his sister Lottie was also living there. Venus’ father died in August of that year and his mother died the next year.

He went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he got a job at the Pittsburgh Glass Co. as a superintendent over a large group of men. He worked hard here for several years. I am going to guess that his older brother Lonnie played a role in helping him attain work here as Lonnie lived and worked at a Glass Company in Pennsylvania for most of his working years.

In 1912 Venus inherited 2,500 dollars from his parents after they passed away. With this money he moved to Ashland, Nebraska and bought a farm with 80 acres of land, south east of Ashland. He also bought his machinery and stock with this money. Just down the road lived the Blum family. They often times held dances at their place in which Venus would attend. He became particularly interested in Louise Blum but she would have nothing to do with him and he turned his attention to her sister Marie. Venus and Miss Anna Mariea Blum were married September 22, 1915 in a quiet ceremony at the home of the German Evangelical minister in Ashland and set up housekeeping at the home Venus had prepared.

In 1917, Venus sold his land in Ashland and moved to a Crab Orchard, Nebraska where the couple welcomed their

Johnny and Cliff about 1926

first born, Venus John (Johnny) on February 22, 1918. He bought and sold land many times was a good business man and generally made a fair profit. Grandmother Marie said she moved 22 times  during her marriage and all to places of ill repair, and almost always by wagon or hay rack. As soon as she would get the place in livable condition, Venus would sell and they would move again. The couple had a second son born April 26, 1921 at their home in Liberty,  and was named Clifford Wayne.

Much was happening in the United States in the 20’s. With the advancement of technology, travel in the way of vehicles and air flight, electricity, telephones and radios being installed in most homes, life only could appear to be better than what it had been in the past. Also came prohibition that opened up speak easies and gave way to gangsters. Free movies on the city and town streets for all to watch.  More roads were being opened up to make travel much easier. The invention of penicillin. Things were looking good for the Pierce’s.

In January 1928, the 24th day Venus and Marie welcomed their third son, Cecil Pierce. He was born in Beatrice, Nebraska, the first of the children to be born in a hospital.  Then in 1929 the crash of Wall street started the beginning of the great depression in the Midwest.  Venus’ brother Reno, was out of a job that year and he and his wife and two children came to stay with them as Marie felt she could use the extra help with a new baby coming in December.  They had a pig they butchered, the potatoes were only small from the garden so they cooked them with the jackets on.  Johnny and Cliff, along with Reno’s daughters, Thelma and Gene, took bean sandwiches to school for lunch.

Venus and Marie Pierce Family 1928

On Christmas day 1929 Venus and Marie sent Johnny and Cliff out to go hunting with the neighbor kids. They got cold and started a fire to keep warm and ended up  burning a pasture so all of the neighbors were called out to put the fire out.

When Johnny and Cliff got back to the house they found they had a baby sister.

Their only daughter and the last of the children  was named Juanita Marie…though she was always called Carol. Christmas Carol.

Venus was basically a happy man, hard working, and well respected.  He was known to joke and tease, yet he was a worrier, a trait that was  passed down to his son Cecil and on to some Cecil’s children. (again I wonder, dna or upbringing)  He was a good business man and was great with figures. He could figure a long list of numbers in his head and was always figuring something. His hand were rough and calloused with nicks and cuts for all his hard work. He and Marie would cut wood with a cross saw and sell big wagon loads of it for 2 dollars a load. He would deliver the wood in the winter when it was so cold that he would walk next to the horses in order to keep warm. He started out early in the mornings to plow the fields. Before he left he would carry in buckets of water for Marie so that she would have enough for the babies while he was gone.  Marie would take him a fresh team of horses in the middle of the morning. Carol remembers sitting in the corner of the wagon while he and Marie, and the boys would pick corn. They all worked very hard to keep the farm going. .

Carol remembers cutting cockle burrs with her brother Cec and her dad, one row at a time. Venus would tell them, “We are getting them.” and encourage them to keep going. They were hot and thirsty and not very happy with the project.

Venus was not a drinker according to his daughter Carol. He just didn’t handle it well. She remembers one time that he had a bit too much to drink and he was outside in the yard getting sick and Marie took a bucket of water out and poured it on his head. She didn’t like it when he drank, as her father was a bit of a lush and she had grown up with the effects.

Johnny left home at quite a young age and went to live for a time with Marie’s brother Bill. No one really knows the reason why though I’ve asked a few times.

When Cliff was 12 he won a pony race at celebration in Reynolds and was noticed by a couple from California. They convinced Venus to let Cliff go with them to California and contracted him as a jockey in San Diego. Mrs. Presnell promised Marie that she would look after him and care for him as her own. Venus and Marie followed closely the

1940 Cliff Pierce Jockey

career of their son as he was soon recognized as an up and coming jockey.

WWII took both of the older boys off to war and Cecil and Carol were left at home to help with the farm work.

WWII veterans Venus John and Clifford W Pierce

Early one morning at breakfast, they sit down at the table for their morning meal of pancakes. Venus dropped his fork and his eyes became fixed in an empty stare.  He had begun the process of getting the rest of his teeth pulled, when he had this first stroke. Marie took great care of him as he couldn’t talk.  For a couple of days he kept trying to ask them something, Finally they figured out he was wondering if their home in Belvedere, Nebraska was 2 or 3 lots. Carol remembers shaving him after they would get him up and get him in a chair. Cecil would only say that it was terrible. Marie would wash the linens everyday and hang them out to dry.  His second stroke came three months later, and he slept in a coma for a day and a night. He died at home Jun. 6, 1948, in Reynolds, Jefferson County, Nebraska. age 64 years and 6 months. At the time of his death he owned 400 acres, a store, and a restaurant.

Johnny didn’t want Venus to be buried in the Reynolds cemetery as it was always grown up with weeds and Venus had fought weeds on his farms all of his years, so plans were made for burial in Fairbury, Nebraska.

The Pierce Boys about 1943

At the time of his death Venus John and Clifford were married. John was married to Dean Zierenburg and Clifford married to Barbara Dowe.

One year after his death his daughter Carol married Paul McKenzie and 3 years after his death his son Cecil married Peggy Nutsch. Venus left his land to his three sons and his daughter and the store and restaurant to Clifford, which was destroyed a year later in 1949 by a tornado.

Marie was a young widow. She lived for a time with Johnny and Dean until she moved to Omaha and lived with her brother Martin for several years. After Martin remarried, Marie moved to a trailer in Murdock, Nebraska across the street from her brother Bill. When she no longer felt she could live on her own she moved to a senior living community in Omaha until the time of her death in 1984.

 

As always thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the story of Venus. If you are someone that has anything to add to this story please leave me a message in the comment section as not only would I love to hear it, I’d love to add it!

Happy Hunting

The Pierce Family Historian

Susan Pierce Holmes

 

 

 

 

 


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