Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Genealogy Trip: Thrilled with over 900 New Images!!!

I had a wonderful trip back to my childhood home in southern Kansas last weekend. My family has lived in the area (Cowley & Sumner Counties) since about 1870. My grand aunt, Beulah (Peters) Brewer, got me started in genealogy back in 1998 and, when she passed away in 2009, my aunt and uncle inherited boxes and boxes of her research. They are also the ones who have collected many family photos and other family heirlooms over the years. So, I was in genealogy paradise! It was incredible!

A friend of the family, Cheryl, is a retired librarian who has worked on genealogy for many years. She is going through the incredible task of organizing all of Beulah's papers. So far, I believe she has put together ten 3-inch binders of material. And, she has at least 3 more binders to go... plus more boxes that haven't been gone through yet! The task she has done is monumental! And, they gave me permission to copy everything. It's incredible... but it'll take at least another trip. There just wasn't enough time!

Ashton old schoolhouse in Sumner County, Kanasas
photo by Dana (Stewart) Leeds October 2014
The notebooks are incredible! There are probably several hundred old photos. It's amazing! And, I was amazed that I was able to start recognizing my grandmother and other family members in these old photos. There are also report cards, telegrams, poems, obituaries, original wills, and much, much, more. It's absolutely phenomenal!

We also took one 'road trip' to see a couple of old cemeteries and old buildings. Unfortunately, some road work prevented us from seeing everything we wanted to see. But, I did get to Geuda Springs Cemetery where quite a few family members are buried including my Aunt Beulah (headstone above). We also visited the old town of Ashton and I got to see the amazing little one-room school house where my grandmother, Hazel (Peters) Stewart, both went to school as a girl and later taught.

Ashton (Sumner Co, KS) church
Photo by Dana (Stewart) Leeds
We also drove by the old church where young Hazel went to worship. Unfortunately, it is almost entirely covered with trees and bushes. It was hard to see even part of the church to photograph. 

I met some of my second cousins - children of the cousins I grew up with. And, we met some 'new' cousins - these are more distant cousins who are also doing genealogy who I've met online. They all came and shared their research and we shared ours. One lady also brought her sister and her mother. It was great getting to actually meet these other family members/genealogists in person!

Now, I have a lot of work ahead of me. I first need to print out all of these papers I photographed (I used my iPad to take photos of most of the 3-inch binders) and then enter the information in my genealogy program. This will easily take months. I'm really excited, but I know I have a large job ahead of me! I'll be sharing some of my 'finds' and the stories as I move along...

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

1 comment:

  1. Dana, Great photos. I need to make a few trips like this. I hope I'm as successful as you seemed to have been. Karen


The 1828 Will of Peter Close's Relict: Catharine Elizabeth Close

Yesterday, I shared the 1810 will of my 5th great grandfather , Peter Close of Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Peter's wife, Catha...