Thursday, July 28, 2016

TBT- Photos of Yesteryear- Sally "Essie" Crosby

Spotlight photos from my extensive photo archive 
Today is it
Sally Estella "Essie" (George) Bruce Crosby [1879-1958]
My Great-Great Grandmother

Essie Crosby in front of the Winnebago School- 1930s

Sally Estella "Essie" was the first child born to Myron George & Viola Jewell. Raised in Central City, Iowa by her Father & Grandmother Elmira Jewell, following her mothers death.

Essie was first married to Owen Rutherford Bruce, and after a tumultuous 16 year marriage they were divorced. The day her divorce from Owen was granted, Essie married LeRoy "Roy" Crosby and they immediately after moved to Minnesota.

Essie raised a total of 5 children and was an important figure to grandchildren as well. After many years living in Winnebago, Minnesota, Essie & Roy moved out West to California where their daughter was living.

Essie died after suffering a stroke on September 2, 1958. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

North Star 2016- Minnesota Genealogical Conference

Alright Minnesota Area Genealogists, it's time to plan for the Fall genealogy conference that is sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society.


Friday September 30th & Saturday October 1st 

The Minnesota Genealogical Society always puts on a terrific workshop! The speakers are some of the brightest & most knowledgeable in our field. 

If you're like me, Summer is flying by at break neck speed... already nearly August, and I haven't accomplished 1/10th of the things I'd hoped to... and my genealogy has been no exception. The mini research trips I'd hoped to take & the massive organization projects are all still pending.

However, we all have plenty of time to schedule & plan for the upcoming genealogy conference! Coming after Labor Day & the hubbub of the previous months, it will be a wonderful way to cap off our "Summer Adventures" and maybe even give us some genealogy direction for the upcoming Midwest Winter we will be enduring! 

  • Have you attended genealogy workshops before? If not, it's a wonderful way to expand your genealogy education AND meet fellow genealogists!
  • Are you a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society? If not, you should consider it. The price is reasonable, you get access to many resources AND members get a 'discount' for conferences.
  • Might you have other genealogist pals who'd enjoy this too? If so, share this with them. Gather a group & carpool. 
  • Think you're too much of a novice? Or too much an expert? Trust me. You aren't either of them. There's always something to learn in this great hobby of ours! No one knows too much or too little to find the conference a great time!
You can view the itinerary for the conference & speakers bios right on the MGS website.  Please check it out, there look like some great topics!

Points I should mention:

  • Early bid registrations ends on August 23rd. 4 weeks. Don't delay.
  • Apparently Minnesota is hosting the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament. If you need lodging, don't delay. 
  • The Edina location of the conference is very easy & very accessible.
  • Support your hobby & support your fellow genealogists.
See you there! Make sure to say 'hi'





TBT- Photos of Yesteryear- Stephen Luther Nelson

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
Today it is
My Great-Great Grandfather's older brother
Stephen Luther Nelson [1863-1933]




Stephen Luther Nelson was born just outside of Twin Lakes, Minnesota, the third child born to Ole & Mary Rosetta (Grinolds) Nelson. His mother died of cancer when he was just a teenager.

He was married to Inga Isaacson and eventually they, along with their 3 children, moved to South Dakota. 

In 1933, just shy of his 70th birthday, he died from complications of heart problems

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mystery Photo- Peoria, Illinois area

This great old cabinet card is from the Peoria, Illinois area




Somehow connected to the Krumholz-Weber-Wernsman-Schmitt families that lived in and around the Peoria, Illinois area.

Possibly a child of Joseph Krumholz, later of Fairbury, Illinois.

Hopefully someone can help identify this unknown child.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Krumholz... What Are They & Where Are They From?

"Krumholz" is not a extremely common surname. Which for researchers of the name (like me!), is a good thing. It seems that most lines in the United States can be traced by to just a handful of immigrant ancestors. Linking those folks is where the challenge lies.

The 2013 Dictionary of Family Names, gives the meaning of Krumholz as--

German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Krumbholz ‘bent timber’, ‘mountain pine’, hence probably a metonymic occupational name for a cartwright or wheelwright. As a Jewish surname it is ornamental.

"bent timber" that would appear to be what the name describes

My personal Krumholz lineage is a Catholic family traced back to a small area in Baden, Germany that is nestled along the Alsatian border. The family lived in the area for hundreds of years, where descendants still reside today.


There is also another Krumholz branch that is from Eastern Germany and parts of what is now Poland. These Jewish Krumholz family lines immigrated to large numbers to the United States, and like millions of others were nearly exterminated during World War II. 


In the early days, the name often had an extra 'm'-- Krummholz. Though that appears to have been dropped by descendants today, on both sides of the ocean.

With such a limited number of people with this surname, you'd think it would be link up descendants & figure out how they are connected--- Not So! Though it is a project that would be interesting to undertake sometime in the future.

For social media users & Krumholz relatives- a Facebook page exists to keep us all united Krumholz Family News & Genealogy

Do you have Krumholz ancestors in your family tree?
Have you had luck researching/connecting your unusual surnames?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TBT- Photos of Yesteryear- Erwin & Vera Bruce

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
This week it is-

Vera & Erwin Bruce



Erwin Bruce, the younger brother of my Great-Grandmother, was born in 1909 in Linn County, Iowa, the last of four children born to Owen Rutherford Bruce & Sally Estella "Essie" George. After his parents 1916 divorce, he moved to Minnesota with his Mother & Step-Father.


He lived in Minnesota and worked for many years as a farm hand for area farmers, later he moved to California where two of his siblings had relocated to. Eventually, in middle age, he was married to Vera Stinson Graves, a divorcee. 


They lived in the Cotati area where Vera died of a heart attack in 1968 at age 61. Just over 2 years later, Erwin also 61, died of a heart attack.

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Time For a Family Reunion!!

We are into the full swing of Summer [finally!] and what do genealogist love to do in Summer?? 
—that’s right, attend family reunions!



Whether annual family association gatherings of 500 people or a lunch date with 8 cousins – ‘reunions’ are a great way to further research and to maintain contact and relationships with living, breathing relatives!

This Summer is particularly active for me, in the family reunion department! I've been spearheading a large reunion for one branch of my family over the last year & a half. It will finally be later this month. As anyone who has organized a large reunion knows, it can be a lot of work. Unfortunately, while this is a very large extended family, the attendance seems to be far less than I'd hoped for.... it can be challenging to find a date/location that works for a large family that is spread across the United States.
A 1940's reunion full of unidentified relatives of The Dead Relative Collector



July is when I have the opportunity to attend 2 other family reunions! One has been happening for 70  years! And while the last decade has seen us lose so many of our treasured older generation – we still come together the second Sunday of July and celebrate what connects us! Later in the month, the siblings of my Grandfather & their families gather for a reunion as well.

It's a wonderful time to catch up with those living breathing relatives that we don't always get a chance to see or spend time with... and a time to share stories or photos as well! I know I always drag along a bunch of "mystery photos" in hopes of getting some of them identified.

In case you are thinking of planning your own reunion & are looking for a few resources-- here are a couple of links for planning a reunion of your very own!
Mister Spiffy's Reunion Planner
Your Midsize Family Reunion: A Planning Checklist
Family Tree Magazine's- 10 Steps to Family Reunion Success



  • Do you have any annual family reunions? 
  • Or at least one scheduled for this year?
  • What traditions do you have?
  • Do you have a program?
  • When was your last one?


Have you found it a benefit in having a program – or do you think folks prefer the big group free flowing social time?


If you haven’t had a family reunion in a while [or for some- EVER!] perhaps it’s time for you to start planning one!


Please feel free to post family reunion ideas, dilemmas, or links to your family reunion stories the comments below!