Kenneth’s 75th Birthday
Several months prior to April, Melba and I were invited to a surprise party for Kenneth. He was going to be 75 years old on April 21. His daughters, Step and Shay, helped Billie plan this party. Plans were made for Melba and me to fly out to Portland, but how were we going to stay out of sight from Friday evening until Sunday noon. Coming to our rescue was a cousin (not a first) who lived in the area. I had been in contact with her through Facebook, she had mentioned several times she wanted to get in touch with Kenneth.
Willorene and her husband, Tom were gracious, letting us stay with them, then they took us to party where they met Kenneth and his family.
Melba’s daughter, Creta drove us to Burlington, Colorado, where another daughter, Caylia and her husband Frank, picked us up, driving us to the airport. Tom and Willorene were there at Portland to pick us up.
Saturday we enjoyed visiting with Tom and Willorene, catching up on family and talking genealogy.
That afternoon, their grandson was playing ball, so we went to the park and watched a combination pitcher, coach pitch game for these young boys.
It gave Melba and me an opportunity to meet Willorene’s daughters, a son-in-law, a granddaughter and 2 grandsons.
Sunday we drove from Beaverton, WA to Church of the Good Shepherd Church in Vancouver, Washington. Since it was a surprise we had to stay out of sight until party time. When Ken’s family arrived at the church, they were surprised because the partition that divided the sanctuary from the fellowship area (where the party was to take place) was open. Kenneth was the lay reader for the service, so he could see into the area. So some of the decorations didn’t get put up until after the morning service was over. There was a crowd, friends and family other than his church family, in the choir room awaiting the service to be over, so they could gather in the fellowship hall. Tom and Willorene gathered with as we greeted, Shannon, and Syrus, Steve, and other friends.
Of course, Kenneth was oblivious to any thing going on. He hadn’t put together why Billie had so many phone calls from the “Altar Guild”. (She had only recently gotten her own cell phone.) He didn’t have to count money after services and was ready to head out for dinner with Billie for his birthday. Interruptions kept coming up, as they were ready to leave, Billie remembered she need to get something from the hall. They called out surprise, and Kenneth told us, there was this person who looked like his daughter from Texas, but she had called that morning to wish him “Happy Birthday”, she came up and gave him a hug.
Then he turned around and thought that looks like my son from Texas, he was just here a few days ago. It took a couple minutes to register that Step and Shannon were there to surprise him. Also there were, his daughter, Shay and grandson, Syrus, they live in the area. Also, sons-in-law Jon Gower and Steve Alexander were attending.
Melba and I waited in the choir room until after they were able to get fellowship hall ready, and surprise Kenneth. After we heard the call “Surprise”, I waited a couple of minutes to call Kenneth on his cell.
He couldn’t get it out in time to answer, but since it was his sister, he called back, knowing she was calling to wish him “Happy Birthday”. He called me back, and then proceeded to try to get me off the phone.
I wished him “Happy Birthday”, then tried to ask him “What would like for your birthday? How about your sisters?” I repeated it about 3 times as we walked into the hall.
Finally he was turned around and his chin hit the floor as he realized his sisters were there. (Later, Kenneth told us, he had been totally surprised to see his daughter, from Texas, and his son, also from Texas). He was speechless.
Family, friends, church family, and co-workers had gathered to help him with this celebration. A light lunch along with cake was served. After most of the people had been served, a video of photos of Kenneth and his family over the 75 years was shared.
Before the video, Step and Shannon each had to say a few words.
Shay let them do it. Before you knew, it was time to wrap up and head home.
At home, the first thing Ken did was to get out of his suit and get comfortable. We visited, and he opened his presents, and cards. Melba and I remained to spend a couple of days before we returned home. He was completely surprised and it lasted for a couple of days. Had a good time visiting with the family that came back to the house.
Our trip home was another experience. We had a delay because Denver had snow, then because of snow, we spent the night with Caylia and Frank, got to see their children and grandchildren.
The Voss Family
The Voss Clan
Kenneth and Sisters
Children : Step and Jon, Shannon, Shay and Steve Sisters: Melba and Karen Grandson: Syrus Cousins: Willorene and Tom Billie’s Family: Sisters: Kathy and husband, Jerry , Charlene Nieces: Vonnie, Shelley and her husband, Bob
Unable to attend: Daughter-in-law -Debbie, Grandson – Devin and Granddaughter – Dani
I have not followed through on my plans for 2013. At this point I need to regroup and start again.
Over the last month I have traveled and been involved in a number of family reunions with one more to go. So far I have been to a surprise birthday party, a family gathering on Memorial Weekend, and then a Family Reunion in Henderson, Ark. with the Langston Reunion coming up in Wild Cherry, and meeting other family members in Calico Rock.
After I get back, I will try to recap each of these as they each include different branches of the family.
Pictures to be included.
Now I have a list of pictures to find, and others projects for relatives I met over the weekend.
You must remember that attending these activities were the Voss family, Kenneth, his wife, Billie, Melba and myself. Meeting with Voss family, DeWitt family, Dipman family and I will be attending the Langston Family reunion coming up.
Filed under: Uncategorized
My plans for 2013
Another year has past. I did not have the energy to work on my blog last year. I dealt with several health issues, they took a lot out of me. It was also a year, I had to depend on others a great deal, for a person who has always been independent, this was hard. But was very grateful for those who were willing to help me.
A rainbow is like a friend, always there after the storm.
This year I want to blog about the 50 states – telling what I have seen if I have been there, or reasons why I would like to visit the state. Currently, I have touched all of the western states, with California, the state I have only driven through Needles, and back out, with plans to cruise to Hawaii in 2014. The Dakotas, the southern states, the very northeastern states, and the Carolinas are the states I have not had the opportunity to visit.
So over the next year, I plan on working through state by state, starting with Kansas, as it is my home state.
I plan to continue working on the Langston family, as my cousin and I are the current editors of “The Langston Family and Kinsmen Newsletter”. We will be publishing the first issue for year 36. A great deal of information has been included in this newsletter over the years.
I also would like to get back to work on the Weisleder family, as well as the Grossman and Voss families.
Also during this year I will be working on a history for the United Methodist Church of Larned, which will celebrate 140 years in September 2013. Thankful the first 125 years have been well documented, so I will need to concentrate on the last 15 years. I will also try to get many of the photographs organized.
Hoping to travel to the Family History Library in Salt Lake this spring, and attend a couple of family reunions. I also plan on continuing my volunteer work at the Santa Fe Trail Center, here in Larned.
I hope to have some thing in place that will show my accomplished for the year 2013.
Looking forward to being healthier this year. At least here at the beginning it is better.
Blessing for a wonderful New Year, with whatever you hope to accomplish.
Filed under: New thoughts
The past several months have been a very interesting time form me. Health issues, and a pesky cataract have slowed me down, making it hard to make much progress. After having cataract surgery in June and another one scheduled in Aug, I am now able to more mobile, not having to depend on others to take me places. I have worked on indexing (about 26,000) most of them for the 1940 Census. I am also working on the Langston Family Tree. Anticipating a trip to the Buffalo, New York area in the fall to work on the Voss tree, particularly the Weisleader family.
Most of last year was spent digitalizing 34 years of Langston Newsletter. My cousin, Dedria and I have taken on the task of producing the current newsletter. Preparing to publish our first issue shortly.
During our last visit, I helped a friend find some information about a great grandfather of her husband. We were able to find where he was buried. She called, I helped her find the cemetery again. Several weeks later, the family traveled to Iowa to the cemetery. Their brick wall was where was his wife buried. Upon finding the cemetery and the headstone, the picture showed that the headstone had fallen off its base. I soon received another phone call. They had picked up the headstone, turned it over and there was the information about the mother. They were so excited. Currently I am trying to find a time to visit with family and help them continue with their family journey. The genealogy bug bite hard.
The Langston Family.
I have started work on the Langston Family. As I digitalized 34 years of Langston Family Newsletters, I put all of the names into my genealogy software. The names from the newsletter include family groups, stories, inquiries, birth, marriage and obituaries. Over 4000 names were included in the database. I am now trying to work my way through the names, finding last names, duplicates, and connecting families.
I put the tree on Ancestry, privately for now, to check for documentation. Now with this many names it is very easy to get distracted, so I am working my way through one name at a time alphabetically. I will work through all of the names except the Langstons. When I get to them, I will be 75% finished, as there are over 1000 Langstons.
One of the issues is how much information do you include about the families that married into the Langston family. I have currently worked my way through the A’s and B’s, ready to start with the C’s. Looking at the list I have worked with 363 names, occasionally adding information to some other names, but trying to stick to my plan of working through the alphabet.
I know this task will take some time, but hopefully I will have a family tree I feel I can go back and follow the family lines. I have started with Caleb Langston who had several sons, 3 of which migrated to Arkansas in the early 1800’s. I can trace my lineage back to 3 of Caleb’s sons.
I also need to start getting things organized for my trip to Buffalo and the questions I would like to have answered when I get there. The lastest issue of Family Tree Magazine has a city guide for genealogists.
Will post again after I have gotten through a couple more letters.
Filed under: 1940 Census
I worked on the state of Kansas at first, as that is where I would find my parents. So exciting that is it one of the first states available for searching, but it need to continue. I have worked on Montana, Michigan and Arkansas. Montana is close to being ready for search, while Michigan and Arkansas have a ways to go.When these 3 become close to ready I will pick another 3 states, and keep working until this project is complete.
I am currently concentration on Arkansas, as I would like to be able to locate my mother’s family when it becomes searching. I have indexed almost 18000 names since the 40’s Census became available. A couple of interesting things a 15 year old with a year old baby married to a 74 year old man. What is the story behind this marriage? I can think of several scenario’s. The names are always so interesting. Reading some of the handwriting is quite a challenge. There have been a few times I have looked back on the 1930’s census to check on the family, to find out how the name is spelled.
Montana is where my father’s mother will be indexed, his father died in 1938 so he will not be on the 1940’s Census. Michigan is where my grandmother’s family lived before moving on to Buffalo, New York. Missouri and Indiana will be places to look for my husband’s family. So I am anxious for the indexing to be completed so I can research some family members.
Although this is not apart of the Census, have made contact with a distant cousin, who wants to share some pictures and information on my mother’s side. But this is a very busy weekend, with graduation and time with friends, probably won’t get to much indexing done for the next several days. Was glad to see more states have become searchable. ONWARD and UPWARD and soon it will be complete.
Filed under: Uncategorized
The past two days have been very busy, as other activities made it difficult for me to work on the Census. But I will keep plugging away. I have done another 500 the past couple of days. I was able to find my great grandmother Sophronia Sanders living with her son Loranzia Sanders and his wife Bertie. His sister Ellen Pruitt was also living with them. They were in Izard, Union County the surrounding area.
Another couple day will be busy as I will attend the celebration of my sister’s 75th birthday, with her family. And as celebrating another Easter.
I will see how much I can get indexed this next week.
Filed under: 1940 Census
It has been a cool dreary day, a good day for staying inside, appreciate the moisture that has come the past couple of days. This kind of day is a good day for staying in and working on indexing. Over the past 3 days I have indexed 1800 names for the state of Kansas. That means when a second person has looked over these pages and they are arbitrated they will be ready to be searched. I have had the counties of Butler, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clay, Chase, Cowley, Cloud, Decatur, Crawford, Ellis and Franklin.
When I took a break and checked Geneabloggers, Randy Seavers gave the address for finding the downloaded pages on Family Search. I went to Kansas, Pawnee County and Enumeration Districk 73-7, which I found using Steve Morse’s web site. On page three here is what I found
They were living in Grant Township outside of Rozel, Kansas in Pawnee County.
My father was renting the land and it was a farm, he was listed as R K with wife Inez V their ages were 35 and 25. Melbarose(sic) Melba Rose, daughter was 3, and Kenneth L was 1. As his birthday is later in the month of April he was almost 2 years old. Eldred Sanders aged 17, sister-in-law was living with them. R K provided the information for this census, he completed 8 grade and Inez had completed 7th grade (My understanding Mom had not gotten that far in school). Eldred had also completed 8th grade. The places of birth were Montana, Arkansas, Kansas, Kansas and Arkansas. On April 1, 1935 he reported they were living in rural Stafford County, this may have been where he was in 1935, but they were not married until 1936, so where was she, in Arkansas or Oklahoma. Radium which is where they first set up housekeeping is in Stafford County. They were married in Paul’s Valley Oklahoma, but how long was she there before they were married. Eldred was in Rodney, Arkansas in 1935. Rudolf was employed 52 week in 1939, and worked 80 a week, for a Salary of $250.
Eldred is still living and maybe on a good day, I can find out when Inez went to Oklahoma.
I had never examined the map that closely and I though Radium was either in Pawnee or Barton Counties, but it is located in Stafford.
As I close out this day. I am pleased with what I have accomplished. There something about seeing a family member’s name on a Census. As so many of the family members I will be searching for are in rural areas, and I don’t know exactly where they lived, I will be patient and wait out the coming months for each state to be come indexed.
As anyone who is indexing can see there are many more states and names to be indexed.
Tomorrow I can not devote the day to indexing, I have other commitments that come first, I will try to get a few pages worked in.