Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Nancy Drew Genealogy - Finding John Leslie Walters

Before I get into a few more of my devious genealogical adventures with this Walters line, let me first review the beginnings of my research on your great grandfather. 

John Leslie Walters was Grandma Janiece's father. He had come from Los Angeles to Utah about 1922, bringing the "Silent Pictures." He would rent a hall in the many small southern Utah towns, charge a dime for entry and play the piano as accompaniment. (Those red piano books up in the attic are my only inheritance from him)

He was 13 years older than Della. They married and had Uncle Les and mom. Grandma Della divorced him when Janiece was 4 years old...she never heard from him again although as he left the house he told his little daughter  "he would come back for her"---he didn't. This "abandonment" probably contributed to her emotional instability over the years...Grandma Della married Louis Eck, a rough and tumble construction worker who wanted Della to leave her children with Grandma Pearson in Utah when they moved to California.(She didn't)

In the 60's and 70's when we first started trying to do family history, all we knew about him was his name and that he was born on 3 March 1890 in Cardiff, Wales. The only research we knew how to do in those days was 1) send a TIB request (Temple Index Bureau) in to the Genealogical Society in Salt Lake and 2) request a birth certificate from the Birth Registrar in England. Neither returned any results.

When Ancestry and FamilySearch came online about 2001, I began my "pajama genealogy" hobby...late nights perusing census pages and piecing together our family tree. Grandma Janiece had died in 1979, never knowing any more about her father. I had a box of her papers/mementoes that Grandpa Roger had given me that I finally started investigating. In the box was the original marriage license for Grandma Della and John Walters:

Read that first line....Mr. John Leslie Walters of ST LOUIS in the County of ST LOUIS and the state of MISSOURI! What!, no, no, I thought...he was born in Cardiff, Wales. Maybe this just meant that he came from Missouri, but no...he had come from Los Angeles...this meant he wasn't born in Wales! No wonder we never could find him.

I began to get a little more insight into my mysterious grandfather's personality. I already knew he must have been a bit of a scamp, because Grandma divorced him, but why would he lie about where he was from?
Think about it...if you're driving through southern Utah and want people to come see your movies, you DON'T TELL THEM YOU'RE FROM MISSOURI! (Thing Mountain Meadow Massacre) So he recreated himself...his father had immigrated from Wales so it wasn't hard.

Once I knew he was born in St Louis,  I did a search for him on Ancestry and he immediately popped up as a 10 year old in the 1900 Census, living with his parents, John and Rosalie in Pipe Creek, Indiana.

And I found him in 1910 in Pueblo, Colorado.
And I found him in 1920 in Kern County with his first wife, Helen and two children.
And I found him in 1930 with Grandma Della and Les and Janiece.
And I found him in 1940, back in Indiana with a 3rd wife, Lenore.

He didn't die until 1965...too bad I couldn't have found out all of this while my mom was still alive. Hopefully they've reconnected on the other side...:)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Nancy Drew Genealogy -Using Google Maps to solve a Geneological Mystery

I haven't posted anything for a long time, but thought I'd post some of my genealogical research...mainly so I can remember how I found!

Lately I've made a breakthrough on our  John Leslie Walters line.
Up until recently, this was as far as I had gotten:

Actually, Grandma Della had told me that John Leslie Walters' mother was named Rosalie Russell, so for years that was what I looked for with no results. Recently I found John's marriage license for his first marriage to Helen says his mother's name is Rosalie Harris. His license for his 3rd marriage also says Rosalie Harris. (The license for his marriage to Grandma Della just says "Rosa Lee" as if Lee is her last name)

So I changed my search to Rosalie Harris. But still, all I knew was that she was born "about 1869" in England. Believe me...there are many Rosalie Harris's born in England.

But actually I knew a couple of other things too. I knew that about 1889-1890 she must have been in St Louis, MO because that was where John Leslie Walters was born in 1890 (Too bad the 1890 census burned!)

I also knew that John's father (also John Walters, b 1863) although born in Wales, had immigrated to the US and for a few years (before joining his family in Indiana) lived in St Louis and must have somehow met Rosalie. I had found him awhile back in an 1889 city directory:

That's him, the "tin" worker...renting at 4135 N 2nd St

So I did a search for Rosalie Harris, born 1869 in England, but living in St Louis, MO....and found this entry in the 1880 Census: 

Now this is a good possibility...she's the right age, in the right location, from the right country. Also on other census's she says her father is born in Wales and her mother in England...and Philip Harris is born in Wales, Margaret is from England. But this is 9 years before that 1889 city directory. How can we "prove" this is the Rosalie that met and married John Walters? 

Remember the city directory gave John's address...4135 North  2nd St.  Look at the address for Rosalie's family in 1880....2716 NORTH 2ND STREET! 

That made me go to Google Maps to see the relationship between the two addresses. 

That dot at the bottom of the map is where Rosalie and her family were living in 1880. The star at the top is where John was living in 1889...only a few blocks away.  But then I started searching for Philip Harris and found him (and his sons, Sidney and Russell) in several city 1883 he has moved to 3913 North 9th St, even closer. 

Another thing that makes it likely that this is Rosalie's family is Philip's profession...he is a "puddler". I thought at first that this was a misspelling of "peddler" but it's actually an occupation involved in the manufacture of iron. You can't see it in this screenshot, but just down a couple of blocks from where both John(who worked in the tin industry in Wales)  and Philip are living is (today) a steel mill. In the 1880's it was probably an iron factory. The two men likely worked together.

Another confirming I further researched Rosalie's brother, Sidney I found his marriage license which said his mother's name was Margaret Russell...remember Grandma Della had told me Rosalie was Rosalie Russell? That's where the Russell came from. And they named the second son Russell...later I found a birth record for Rosalie...I think her name is actually Rosalie Harriet Russell Harris. 

So...another generation added to our tree....more discoveries to follow revealed  thanks to the magic of DNA! (I know you can hardly wait..haha)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Memory Lane - 1984

Now it's 1984...

February 14
"Another exciting day (!) - Took Valentine cookies (frosted last night at 12 pm) to Kendra's class- took Michael to school...home for presidency meeting with Terry and Barb (Terry Wheeler was RS pres, I was 1st C, Barbara Christianson was 2nd C)...left at 10:45 for See's to get another box of candy for one of John's employees (he actually asked me to go to See's on the 14th?)...and a basketball for him.

Back to pick up Michael from Terry's - picked up Danny so Vick could go up to school. Then she dropped by and talked until Lindsay came for her piano lesson.  Then picked up Karl - home and took Kendra and Dana to gymnastics. Took Valentine's cookies to Kathy Martin and Lucy Hanson (my v teachers), then to bank and Long's before picking up the girls.

...Home to dinner, etc. Helped Kendra learn math - addition with borrowing - did most of the wash. John was at basketball

27 February 1984

David had a fever - 104; Michael has a cold too & asthma. Got Pulmo-Aide for him. Washed, made up toy order (Discovery Toys...I was a consultant at the time); took care of Sam, made Boston Cream Pie for family night, cooked Swis steak in crock pot. I finished the "Munch Math" program (typing it into our Commadore 64!)- it actually works! Food club meeting tonight. Family Night lesson on budgeting (probably the last discussion we ever had about it).

29 February 1984
Leap year - Grandma Eck called last night - Anna passed away from cancer - she is Harold's (Grandma's brother) wife.

Typed in three computer programs this week (I have no idea what) Woman of Destiny by Orson Scott Card.

March 6, 1984

Vicki called this morning to ask Karl to dispose of their pet rat that died during the night and no one in their family could stand to touch it.  When Kendra heard she would pay him she volunteered for the duty. She took a shoebox and tape and my rubber gloves and went down there and buried it. Vicki paid her $3.00

April 22, 1984
Lot's going on - I was made Primary President last Sunday. I've probably risen to my level of incompetance -

Virginia and Gil brought Ed and Ged by last Wednesday. Virginia and Gil left Friday AM and Ed and Ged will stay until next Wednesday...

May 2nd

Michael told me the whole Ester story on the way hom from Dad's tonight - when he got to where the stone was rolled away he says, "I just love this part!"  He knew all about Mary coming and thinking Jesus was a gardner...

No more entries until early 85...the pressures of kids and Primary evidently caught up with me...and being pregnant with Mark!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Memory Lane - 1983

Well, I have a lot of family history stories that I've written for the FHE writing group (Skidmores, Grovers, Gardners). But I haven't gotten around yet to transferring them here...but I will soon. Meanwhile, I was looking through some of my old (very sporadic) journals from the 80's and thought I'd transcribe a few entries.
October 16, 1983 (This is a big "catchup entry")
(Karl is 13, Kendra is 6, Michael is almost 4, David is 14 months)

Christmas 1982

"Well(I was just noticing how often I start with that word)...I've been planning on starting this new journal since the Parry family reunion in Utah - and that was August 19. It was at Timp cabin by Sundance in Utah. We had a good trip - our first in the van  (the potato van) - we left about 10 pm...our usual time of departure...and broke down in Vacaville at 10:45.
I thought we'd be stuck at Motel 6 until a parts house opened the next morning, but we ran into people with tools and parts (!) who got us on our way about 2 am. (And this was a good trip?...hmmm...I guess just typical)
The reunion was good - It was fun staying with Jeanne - our kids get along really well together. John ,Gil, Karl,  Johnny Sanders, Rhett, and Colby went fishing a couple of days and caught about 40 big trout. It's about the best fishing Karl has ever seen.

Michael went one day too--but later had an asthma attack - We took him to Orem Community Hospital for some epinephrine and medication.

Virginia drove both Jeanne and I somewhat crazy - but nowhere near what she did when they stopped by here on their way back from Vancouver.  She was coming down with a cold and had been traveling for three weeks so she was understandably at the end of her rope, but she was really "ornery." When I served big beefsteak tomatoes from our garden she asked why I couldn't pick them greener.(That was SO Virginia!)

We went to Hiouchi on Sept 17 - to see Gma and Gpa. The van did fine - what a nice way to travel with the kids (seatbelts? probably...carseats, minimal) It was kind of hard being at Gma's with David. Actually it's hard being anywhere with David (sorry, Dave)- he really gets into everything.
oops! Forgot to take off my clothes before getting in the tub!

He's really turning into a cute little boy. He runs little cars on the floor and makes car noises. He says "mama" and "bye,bye" and "night, night" and barks like a dog.(So Dave wasn't really late with language...just had articulation problems)

Michael saw me cutting some swiss cheese - he said we should use some in the mouse trap to catch a swiss mouse.  He and Danny got attacked by bees yesterday when they went back by the hives.
Oakland Zoo Lions and Michael

I went to a Messiah practice tonight. It's nice being involved in that kind of music even though I'm really out of my league. (True!)

October 21, 1983
The battery blew up in the Ford as we were leaving to see Bugsey Malone. (This was a yellow Ford station wagon that we had actually bought of the few cars that didn't sit around broken for years as Dad later traded it to a patient who did the sheetrock texture in the addition)

October 29, 1983
Michael's comments about our pumpkin -
It's enormous! - the biggest in the area." When he was able to move it - he said, "I'm a pretty strong guy!" (Wish we'd had Instagram!)

November 1, 1983
Halloween party at Kathy Well's last night - Kendra was Annie - Michael was a skeleton. We got a black cat from the Well's - named Midnight Rider.

November 7, 1983
Michael wanted to sing the "polka dot song"...he meant the Hokie Pokie.

(Then followed an accounting of my day's activities)
Took the new kitten to visit Kendra and Michael's classes at school.  Washed, ironed (we did that in those days!), helped in Kendra's class, took David for a well check,went to Grandma Dorothy's to pick up walnuts she had shelled for me.(A fairly busy day...although like most moms I usually felt my days weren't very productive.)

John brought the TV home from the repair shop...and broke it again, sliding it into the back of the truck. He was rather upset.

November 10, 1983
Michael - talking to Danny, "My dad is a tooth checker and your Dad is an eye checker."

Skipped a couple of months here...

January 2, 1984
Christmas came and went. It was really enjoyable. Val, Dick, Matt and Grandma Dorothy came here Christmas day for dinner. After they left at 6:30 pm, we got ready and left at 8pm for Chula Vista - arrived at 7 am Monday, stayed until Tuesday pm, drove all night and got home at 4 am, Wednesday.

Karl went to his first dance on New Year's Eve - He went with Marcy and Michael (Busch) - They left the dance at 11:30 and went to Busch's to watch a movie - Karl got home at 3 am (I assume I knew where he was) the edge of adolescense

More to follow!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Wrinkle in Time (Wrinkled By Time?)...Karl joins the family...

4 generations..with Dad, Grampa Gil and Great Grampa Walter

In August of 1968 Dad and I moved to our first home in San Francisco…142 Lake St. This was just off Arguello …the entrance to the Presidio..and around the corner from a big Jewish synagogue…in a little court off Arguello lived Mayor Alioto…but the neighborhood was not so upscale as you headed down Lake St….but still quite charming.

 It was at the beginning of “The Avenues” and one block over was Clement St which was filled with interesting shops…BusVan (used furniture) and many ethnic grocery stores.

We had definitely left Utah and even the suburbia of San Jose. It was here on Lake St that we found the old steamer trunk in the garage where we found the old journal of Pier Ringstrom telling of his journey through the Panama Canal to San Francisco in 1852.

Journal of Pehr Ringstrom

And it was here we expected our first child (soon to be  known as Jochim Karl Christian Nieman)…I was due on December 8 (1969) and taught up until Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, the 2nd, we had gone over to  Grandma Dorothy’s in Montclair for a leftover Thanksgiving dinner…also that weekend we were moving as our building  on Lake Street had been sold and the new owners were raising the rent ! So in the business of the move (and post Thanksgiving leftovers) I think I mistook early labor for indigestion! I remember talking to Marcia Ann Ludlow (her husband was another dental student and they  had a six month old) about 10pm and asking her what labor was like...
We headed to Kaiser about 6 am the next morning.

Dad sat with me in the labor room reading the sports section of the newpaper…as I had an expecially strong contraction (we hadn’t gone to any labor/delivery classes)…he looked over at me and said..It’s going to get a lot worse…and went back to reading the paper! 

I got an epidural about noon but it was pretty pointless as my labor suddenly sped up and I was wheeled into the delivery room where Karl was born about 12:30. The attending OB was Dr. Leach!

After we brought Karl home to our new apartment (a big building on Stanyon Street across from Golden Gate Park) we settled into learning how to be parents. This was really a one bedroom apartment…but it did have a big walk in closet with a window in it that became Karl’s “room.” They didn’t have baby monitors yet but it wouldn’t have mattered…I made a point of closing both my bedroom door and Karl’s closet door to muffle his cries as I tried to get a little sleep. (Does that qualify me for a "poor parenting" award???)

Blessing Day...probably January 1970
A couple of weeks later ladies from church started calling and asking if they could get their dishes back…being new to Relief Society I hadn’t realized that people in the ward would bring me dinners. But I hadn’t gotten any! We finally figured out that they had taken them to our old apartment on Lake Street!
So Dad went over one night to see about the dishes …he found out that the new people who had moved into our apartment were deaf! They couldn’t hear the soft knocks on the door (since no one wanted to wake a sleeping baby) and of course they didn’t ring the doorbell(which would have made a light go on inside)…they just left the food outside the door in the hall. 
The people living there had saved the dishes and gave them to John with a little note that said…We thought the angels had left them!...maybe they had!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wrinkled by Time...First "Fight" and Football

First Fight and Football

Teaching at Woodrow Wilson also led to the first fight (uhhh…misunderstanding) Dad and I had.  Just for background…By November (1969) I was beginning to learn how to survive in a ghetto school and teach subjects for which I had no training.