Author Archives: wonderfulstoryphotos

Jakob Grosshans 1872-1917

1872GROSSHANS Jakob 1914_02[1]

1914 photo of Jakob Grosshans

When Jakob Grosshans was born on May 21, 1872, his father, Jacques, was 30 and his mother, Salome Reinhardt, was 27. He had one daughter with Marie Nowatzky in 1898. He died on June 2, 1917, in France at the young age of 45.

Jakob was born in what is now modern day France. But, Jakob had been born shortly after Germany had annexed that Alsace region of his birth.

Jakob and Marie’s daughter was Mina Grosshans. Through ancestry, I was able to meet a direct descendant of Jakob’s family. They hosted us while we were on a trip to France in January of 2020. We were given a tour of the village Sundhouse where our ancestors had lived. The feeling of standing on that French soil brought me closer to the story of the family line. We even saw the church that our ancestors had attended and where their home was located.

Note that Jakob’s name Grosshans was spelled with one more letter “s” than we use in the spelling of our family name. Many folks in our ancestral line still use the spelling Grosshans.

This is how we relate:

Jakob Grosshans 1872-1917 was a 1st cousin 2x removed of Robert Groshans’ children
Jacques Jacob Grosshans 1842-1941 was the father of Jakob Grosshans
Jean Jacques “Jacob” Grosshans 1808-1869 was the father of Jacques Jacob Grosshans
Gottlieb (Theophile) Grosshans 1847-1919 was a son of Jean Jacques “Jacob” Grosshans
Gottlieb Jack Groshans 1878-1941 was a Son of Gottfried Gottlieb Theophile Grosshans
Robert Jack Groshans 1926-1984 was a Son of Gottlieb Jack Groshans

 

Ransom Flournoy Thompson 1857-1938 (great grandfather of my Barnes family brother-in-law)

Family of Robert King Thompson

Ransom is in the front row on the far right hand side of the photo. 

When Ransom Flournoy Thompson was born on April 5, 1857, in Lawrence, Mississippi, his father, Robert King Thompson, was 38 and his mother, Margaret Malvina Meeks Thompson, was 29. He married Susan “Sudie” Arabella Spurlock on March 10, 1881, in his hometown. They had nine children in 22 years. He died on April 23, 1938, in New Hebron, Mississippi, at the age of 81, and was buried there.

I was lucky to find information on Ransom in the following US census records: 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930.

At the time of the 1860 census, Ransom was only 5 years old. His father Robert listed his occupation as farmer. The home address is listed in Lawrence, Mississippi.

At the time of the 1870 census, Ransom was 13 years old and lists his occupation as farm laborer. The family home is listed as Township 8 Range 18, Lawrence, Mississippi. Ransom was still living with his parents.

By the time of the 1880 census, Ransom was 23 years old and lists his occupation as working on a farm. The address is listed as Beat 4, Lawrence, Mississippi, USA.

In 1890, this land grant was recorded. See below:

U.S. General Land Grant issued 30 Jun 1891.PNG

In the 1900 census, Ransom and his family state that their land is a farm. Ransom states that he owns the farm (not rents). His occupation is farmer. Also shown is that the sons Maxie and Eddie are farm laborers. (Maxie is Evander Maxwell Thompson – an uncle to Samuel Barnes and Eddie is Edward Earl Thompson, Sr. also an uncle to Sam Barnes.) Ransom lists his birth date as May 1858. His birth date was NOT 1858 (see photo of grave marker below)

Ransom and Susan tombstones at the Thompson Buckley Cemetery

Thompson Buckley Cemetery. Ransom and Susan were Samuel Barnes’ grandparents.

In the 1910 census, Ransom’s wife Susan Arabella lists her name as “Sudie.” The family is still farming with the home listed at Beat 4, Lawrence, Mississippi, USA.

In the 1920 census Ransom is 62 years old and is still farming. He lists his father’s place of birth as Georgia and his mother’s place of birth as Alabama.

In 1930, the census taker listed Ransom as Roscoe. A mistake or a nickname? In this census he changes information he gave in 1920 and states that both of his parents were born in Mississippi. But, his parents were NOT born in Mississippi. Their places of birth were accurate in the 1920 census.

This is a memorial link: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/13113887

death of Ransom Flournoy Thompson

Here is how the family relates:

Ransom Flournoy Thompson 1857-1938
grandfather of Sam Barnes
Alice “Christine” Thompson 1905-1994
Daughter of Ransom Flournoy Thompson
Samuel Henry Barnes 1930-
Son of Alice “Christine” Thompson
 
Here are the children of Ransom and Susan that I have researched on Ancestry.com
 
children of Ransom F Thompson

Aris Woodham 1771-1818.

Flowers etc. May 2007 393 (1)

photo by L.C.G. – 2007

 

Oscar Reinhold Moller 1869-1942

pocket-watch-3156770_1920

Image by annca at Pixabay

Oscar Reinhold Moller was the great grandfather of my dear friend Heidi.

When Oscar Reinhold Moller was born on July 16, 1869, in Stockholm, Sweden, his father, Adolf Moller, was 24 and his mother, Catharine “Benedicta” Tilly Moller, was 23. He married Elizabeth Augusta Cassely on April 30, 1890, in Boston, Massachusetts. They had seven children in 18 years. He died on January 10, 1942, in Goffstown, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, at the age of 72, and was buried there.

In the 1900 U.S. census he lived at 46 Marion Street, Medford Ward 5, Middlesex, Massachusetts.  His occupation was cigar maker. He listed his immigration year as 1880. He states that he was born and Sweden and so were both of his parents. His wife Elizabeth was born in Canada, but her parents had both been born in Scotland.

The link below takes you to his grave site information:

https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60525&h=163635021&ssrc=pt&tid=105508996&pid=360045092196&usePUB=true

Oscar death certificate.PNG

Here is how the family relates:

Oscar Reinhold Moller 1869-1942
great-grandfather
Charles Edwin Moller 1900-1979
Son of Oscar Reinhold Moller
Ruth Beverly Moller 1924-2006
Daughter of Charles Edwin Moller

Alibamo Coosada aka Zilphia Napochi “Sefaya” Bartlett – a Muskogee Creek Indian 1775–1846

Zilpha

photo from Ancestry.com and on many web sites by name search

 

Sefaya , a Muskogee Creek Indian, was living in the 13 colonies at one of the most important turning points in American history—the signing of the Declaration of Independence. She was also the 4th great grandmother of my brother-in-law and she was a Creek Indian.

When Alibamo Coosada aka Zilphia Napochi “Sefaya” Bartlett and her brother “Tommy” Napochi Hadjo (Hadjo means warrior) were born in 1775 in Darlington, South Carolina, their father, Napochi, was 25 and their mother, Hokte, was 24.

She married Thomas Pitts Andrews in 1794 in her hometown. They had nine children in 25 years. She died on January 1, 1846, in Dale, Alabama, at the age of 71.

Her father used the name Benjamin Bartlett. He was a “Cacique Minor Chief.” I believe that his birth name was Napochi Mi’ko. Her father was born in 1750 in South Carolina in the Cacique Creek Indian Chieftom area, Darlington, South Carolina.

Sefaya Bartlett married Thomas Andrews, who was an Indian agent in SC or NC.  He was the descendant of a family of Virginian traders who were of Scottish ancestry. Much of their trade was with the Alibamo Indians.  (See page 12 from the link below:)

https://davidawindham.com/ancestors/David_A_Windham_Ancestors.pdf

The link above also says that the name Sefaya was a common Creek name at that time. (see page 13 of link listed above)

During the time they lived, the sons of Thomas Andrews and Sefaya, were considered to be “half-breeds.” The Windham history records show that they still could have maintained their status in society because of their successful trade endeavors.

My son-in-law relates to Sefaya in this way:

Alibamo Coosada aka Zilphia Napochi “Sefaya” Bartlett Muskogee Creek Indian 1775-1846
4th great-grandmother 
Samuel F. Andrews 1800-1853
Son of Alibamo Coosada aka Zilphia Napochi “Sefaya” Bartlett Muskogee Creek Indian
Mary Jane maybe Reins Andrews 1846-1911
Daughter of Samuel F. ANDREWS
Mittie “Ma Ma” Campbell 1882-1953
Daughter of Mary Jane Reins Andrews
Eugene Ludlow (E.L.) Barnes 1906-1979
Son of Mittie “Ma Ma” Campbell
Samuel Henry Barnes 1931-
Son of Eugene Ludlow (E.L.) Barnes

 

Web links:

https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60541&h=1409327&ssrc=pt&tid=60929927&pid=44322957099&usePUB=true

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bartlett-1060

On Family Search she is ID#G9MR-CLT

 

 

 

My winter clothing in the 1950’s and beyond

1950’s

Hess girls in snow suits on the back porch of Harbrooke 1956

photo on our back porch in Ann Arbor, MI -1956

Linda with Madalyn Klotz at the Rotunda

At the Christmas Rotunda in 1956. Linda Claire and family friend Madalyn Klotz

There was a photograph taken in 1956. A loving father had posed his 2 little girls who were wearing their full winter gear. The girls stand on the back porch of their home in Ann Arbor, MI. If you had been a passerby, I expect that you would have found the scene very endearing. Maybe you would have muttered, “how cute”. Maybe you would have just walked past with a new smile on your face. A father delighting in his sweet children was a good thing to witness.

My sister and I were the 2 little girls in the photo. She was 4 years old at that time and I was a toddler at the age of 2. The wonderment is that when I describe our outfits that were so overly heavy and bulky, that the carry away impression is still so stinkin’ cute.

Imagine, if you will, my sister is in a girl’s brown heavy weight woolen coat that reaches to just above the knees and flares at the bottom. It has 2 large pockets on the front of the coat and is closed with 3 big over sized buttons. Worn underneath this coat are a matching pair of woolen snow pants that are fitted with shoulder straps and a bib front. Her dress had to be shoved down inside of the snow pants.  The hat, which was part of the same coordinated set, was actually more of a tie-on wool bonnet with a big front brim and unbelievably thick straps. Once the hat was tied on under her chin, it was difficult to have room for a simple nod. But wait, there is also a muffler (now called a scarf) that also had to fit around the neck.  The outfit was completed by adding a pair of knit mittens tied to a string. The rubber boots in this ensemble made up their own story. You see, you wore your street shoes and had to pull on your boots over your shoes! How? There was a trick. That trick seems more like a tall tale than the truth.  You had to pull a plastic wonder bread bag over your shoes and then yank the boot until it fit over the shoes. Then you had to do  a strange boot dance as you hopped around trying to assure that the heel of your shoe was fully engaged inside of the boot.

In the photo, at 2 years old, I was wearing a more sensible one piece snowsuit. The snow suit must have been sold as a set, because the bonnet style winter hat (there was no hood) displayed all of the design elements from the silky snow suit. My boots were red. Were all girl’s boots red in the 50’s? Again, like all boots they had to be placed on over my shoes. To be exact, my lace up Buster Brown sturdy walking shoes.

In 1959, 3 years after the photo I just described, my father posed me once again in a winter scene for a photograph. I was 5 years old. I was smiling “to beat the band.” My delight was because my sister, neighbor friends, and I had just completed an architectural marvel. A nearly 10 foot long snow tunnel. You had to crawl through the tunnel on your belly, but somehow it was just wonderful. The fashions had already changed from 1956 to 1959. In the more recent of the photos, my waist length snow jacket has a hood. My hands are bare in the photo, but you can see that both pockets seem overstuffed with what I presume must have been my mittens. I must have proven myself able to keep track of my mittens, because there are no longer strings or clips attached to my sleeves. Oh…and the boots are still the brightest of bright red color.

Linda Claire by snow tunnel at Harbrooke

This photo is from 1959

1970’s

Linda Claire on skis

My photo from circa 1970 at our home in Ann Arbor, MI

Oh, how great were the winter weather looks from the 1970’s. In still another photo taken by my father, I was sporting the very popular winter faux fur puff ball hat with big pom-pom ties. Hard to understand now, but at the time that was a very fashionable look! During this time era, I was a skier. On the slopes, I also sported corduroy knickers worn with tall woolen socks. The knickers always had a fancy leather strap and metal buckle to keep them tight at the bottom which was just below knee level. A thick ski sweater was made from scratchy wool but kept you warm on the slopes. Frequently, you could wear your stirrup pants underneath the other clothing as an additional layer of warmth. The 70’s was also the first time that I remember wearing thermal long underwear.

I suppose the reason that I have so many photos of my winter garments was because my father loved being outdoors in all of the seasons. Every winter, he poured an ice rink in our backyard. Starting in my teens, we went to the ski slopes and we had always taken winter hikes through the quiet woods surrounding our home. My father pointed at the various trees and told us their names. We listened to the birds and knew who was “talking.”

I grew up loving winter. That makes me a sort of odd duck. After all, I mostly hear folks grumble and complain about the cold. I just bundle up and go out. Of course, I am very grateful that boots advanced to the point that no wonder bags need to used to put them on.

I hope you like winter too. I hope you see children playing in the snow and smile.

Acts of Kindness a short story by Linda Claire

I was asked if I could write about acts of kindness.

Sure. Easy! After all my life was filled to overflowing with so many stories of the kindnesses that had been displayed to me throughout the years from child to senior citizen. Having experienced so many acts of kindness was a truly humbling thought. It took my breath away to realize this was an immeasurable number of kindness acts that had been intended for ME. Yes, I was the focus of those acts and it struck me with a reverent awe.

In fact, as I sat down with my writing journal, examples of kindness stories popped into my mind one after another until there was no way for me to sort them out properly to write about. It was frankly almost dizzying. I let the memories come and go through my mind as I sat in wonderment. But, I am a person who likes to get a job done, and I needed a logical way to approach and describe all of those many acts.

Well, remember the old rolodex holders? The ones that were BIG and round and you could use a side knob to flip from card to card. I decided to make a sort of rolodex in my head and just let the memories continue to stream into my consciousness. Each memory would simply be placed on one of the rolodex cards in my mind. I decided that I would pick just one card to write about. Otherwise, I had no way to express the life long examples of all these beautiful gifts that had come my way. Yes, one act of kindness, is a big story all on it’s own.

I stopped and pondered several of these memory cards and then settled on one to share. It was not the biggest kindness, or even one I had thought of in over a decade. But, it was a kindness that had surprised me. And with that introduction, let me begin the story of an act of kindness.

The year was 2010 and I had just finished a long work day. Even when you love your job, there is a form of intense life energy that work requires of you. So, there I was getting ready to face the rush hour traffic along Michigan Avenue. My car would make it’s way along with large trucks, gravel trains and a myriad of other drivers. The wait time at each light would be long. And, this being real life, there were several stops that I still had to make on my way home from work. I had to go to the Farm Supply store to buy the 50 lb. bags of dog food that my German short hairs liked and would be waiting for. I had to stop at the grocery for food that I liked.

It was almost 6:00pm. I would get home by 7:00pm and then I would still need to do food preparation and cook dinner. As I thought about the routine of my working person life, I saw the bright neon sign approaching along my path. McDonald’s. O.K., I am not proud that this was my option for that evening. But I was hungry, I was tired and I still had a lot to do once I arrived home. It was a choice and it was the choice that I made.

Like so many others, I joined a long line weaving to the microphone where I would place my order. I believe there were about 6 or 7 cars in front of me. Each car seemed to be held up at the food window for several minutes. I started doing math and I don’t even like doing math. 7 cars x 3 minutes per car = my being at the food window in 21 minutes.

I scolded myself. Now I had placed my order, I was in this ridiculous line and I still had so much to do. What a waste of money and time. I was getting ticked off at myself for this choice of “fast food”. If only I was a more organized perfect person, I would have found some better option.

I don’t know what look I had on my face. I don’t think my thoughts can show through to other strangers. Surely, I was the only person knowing how upset I was getting. And, not so upset by the wait, but by my lack of forethought.

Finally, the line of cars inched forward and after a long time my “fast food” was being handed to me out the window. “Thank you,” I said to the employee at the window. “Oh wait, I didn’t pay yet.” I said while grabbing my debit card to hand over to her.

“It is paid for.” she said.

“No” I corrected her. “I did not pay yet.”

“The car in front of you paid for your order.” she explained.

Wait, that old Toyota in front of me had paid for my order? What? Why?

“Why?” I asked the employee.

“They said to tell you that you just received a random act of kindness.”

It was so strange to me. I knew it was a Toyota in front of me. It wasn’t even a new model. Who would do this for a stranger? I actually had money to pay for my order, had I looked so troubled in my car? Had they planned this? Why me?

That McDonald’s dinner became a precious meal to me. A stranger did something just because it was kind. They actually truly extended themselves to be kind to me.

I drove off from McDonald’s to do my errands and then I drove home and hauled in the dog food. Mr. Misto and Lady Latte provided their happy dog excitement about seeing me.

“Pinch me” I thought. My free dinner was just the coolest thing. A random act of kindness had come my way and I became a better person for that.