Sunday, March 6, 2016

A New Hobby at 72: Myrtle Mae (Coppenbarger) Peters (Fearless Females Day 6)

As part of Women's History Month, Lisa Alzo has created 31 blogging prompts which you can find on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. If you're participating in the Fearless Females blogging challenge this month, let me know & I'll hop over & read your posts!



March 6th prompt: Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor. If you don't have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother or aunt.

She Became a Painter at age 72

My great grandmother, Myrtle Mae (Coppenbarger) Peters (1880-1970) was 72 years old when she started painting. Her art ended up in at least one local show, and an article about her appeared in the newspaper. 


Last year, while visiting an aunt and uncle, I was given two of my great grandmother's paintings.


This one is called "Autumn Oak" and was painted in 1962 when she was 81 1/2 years old (according to writing on the back of the painting).


This one didn't have a name, but it was also painted in 1962.


I loved seeing both my great grandmother's artwork and her signature on her painting. And, I love that she was willing to try new things at the age of 72!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Digging Deeper into an 1895 Wedding: Anna R Adam & Frank Kaechle (Fearless Females Day 4)

As part of Women's History Month, Lisa Alzo has created 31 blogging prompts which you can find on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. If you're participating in the Fearless Females blogging challenge this month, let me know & I"ll hop over & read your posts!



March 4th prompt: Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo, too, if you have one.

Marriage Photo


1895 Wedding Photo - Frank R. Kaechle & Anna Regina Adam - Detroit, Michigan
Photo from my grandmother's collection

On July 17th, 1895, my great grandparents, Frank R. Kaechle (1868-1911) and Francis Regina Adam (1867-1936) were married in Detroit, Michigan. This wedding photo shows them in their formal wedding clothes, including Anna holding her bouquet.

Marriage License

Frank R Kaechle & Annie R Adam[s] marriage license

The Detroit Free Press published the following day, July 18th 1895, shows their marriage license as number 18776. It also misspells Anna's last name by adding an "s" to Adam.



Ancestry.com had Frank and Anna's marriage record. They are the second couple on the page: record #18776. It lists the following information:

  • Full Name of Bridegroom and Bride and Maiden Name of Bride if a Widow: Frank R. Kachle [sic]; Anna R. Adams [sic]
  • Age of Each in Years: 24; 23
  • White, Black, Mulatto, Etc.: Wht; " [both white]
  • Residence of Each: Detroit M
  • Birthplace of Each: Ohio; Mich
  • Occupation of Each: Blacksmith; [her occupation is blank]
  • Name of Father of Each: Reinhard Kachle [sic]; Frank Adams [sic]
  • Maiden Name of Mother of Each: Lena Karlocke [should be Koerback/Korback]; [blank]
  • Times Previously Married: [blank]
  • Date of Marriage: July 17, 1895
  • Place of Marriage: Detroit M
  • Name and Official Station of Person by Whom Married: Lee Stauss, Pastor
  • Witnesses to Marriage: Chal. [Charles] Doleidon [Daleiden] [probably Amelia's husband - they marry in December of 1896]; Amelia Adams [Anna's sister]
  • Residence: Detroit M; Detroit M
While writing this post, I realized it said they were married by a pastor. So, how could I find out what church they belonged to? I turned to Facebook! Within minutes, I had the name of the church were Rev. Leo Stauss was pastor: St. Joseph's German Catholic Church. The person who helped me found it, I think, by searching the 1895 Detroit directory at Ancestry and finding this:

1895 Detroit Directory showing Rev. Leo Stauss as Assistant Pastor at
St. Joseph's (German) Catholic Church
Nice! And, then I able to contact a Detroit researcher who will look up the marriage information on microfilm at the Detroit Public Library.

Lastly, I found a photo of the church where my great grandparents were married in 1895:

St. Joseph (German) Catholic Church, Detroit (image from Wikipedia)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

An Unusual Name: Freelove "Lovey" Randolph (Fearless Female Day 3)

As part of Women's History Month, Lisa Alzo has created 31 blogging prompts which you can find on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. If you're participating in the Fearless Females blogging challenge this month, let me know & I'll hop over & read your posts!


March 3rd prompt: Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you've come across in your family tree.

My Big Sister & Me

Origins of My Name

Before I was born, my sister's best friend was a girl named Dana. My mother loved that name, and since they moved shortly before I was born, they decided to name me Dana! As far as my middle name, they just liked the way it sounded together. (And, so do I!)

Most Unusual Female Name on My Tree

Last year, when I did the Fearless Female posts, I only got through Day 3. So, I did do a post about female names. For the "most unusual" female name, I had chosen my 3rd great grandmother, Ellender Bookout. So, this year I thought I'd choose another unusual name...

Freelove "Lovey" Randolph (1794-1882) is the daughter of my 5th great grandparents, Willoughby James Randolph (1765-1822) and Frances "Frankey" Thornton (1772-1848), which are kind of unusual names in themselves. Their son, William (1792-1867) is my 4th great grandfather, and a very common name. But, Willoughby and Frankey had a two other children with unusual names: one was a son named Thornton, obviously named for his mother's maiden name, and another son was named Brooks.

I also have another Freelove in my tree. This Freelove is an aunt of Lovey's father, Willoughby Randolph. She was born about 1745 and died in 1785.

Lovey Howell.jpg
Mrs. "Lovey" Howell from Gillian's Island (image from Wikipedia)
On Gilligan's Island Mr. Howell calls his wife, "Lovey." I always thought that was just a term of endearment. But, Wikipedia says her name was  Lovell and that's where she got her nickname, "Lovey."

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Six Siblings Immigrate to America: The Holthoefer Family (Fearless Females Day 2)

As part of Women's History Month, Lisa Alzo has created 31 blogging prompts which you can find on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. If you're participating in the Fearless Females blogging challenge this month, let me know & I'll hop over & read your posts!



The prompt for March 2nd is: Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

Post a photo of one of your female ancestors:


Five Holthoefer Siblings,circa 1900, Detroit, Michigan
(back row left to right) Franceska (Holthoefer) Adam, Caspar J. Holthoefer, Marianna (Holthoefer) Petri 
(front row left to right) Elisabeth (Holthoefer) Keine, Anna (Holthoefer) Rolf
(Photo courtesy of Mildred Hunt Collection, by Robert Yagley)

Who is in the photo?

This is a photo of my immigrant ancestor, Franciska (Holthoefer) Adam, and four of her siblings. The five siblings were children of Johann Franz Holthoefer (1804-1870) and Maria Catharina Schulte (1807-1850). The family was raised in Serkenrode, Westphalia, Germany. 

The mother, Catharina, died on February 21st, 1850, just 16 days after giving birth to her eighth child. That baby girl would die the following year, and and an earlier baby had died just before his first birthday. With at least five children still at home, the father, Johann Franz, probably desperately needed a mother to help raise his children. Nine months later, he remarried and had an additional six children with his second wife.

Starting a few years after the 1850 death of their mother, the six surviving Holthoefer children began to immigrate to America to settle in Detroit, Michigan. 
  • 1853 - Joseph (1830-1888) was probably the first of the siblings to immigrate. He witnessed a friend's marriage in Detroit in 1853.
  • 1853 or 1858 - Caspar J. (1835-1918) shows both years as his year of immigration on the 1900 and 1910 censuses respectively. 
  • 1856 - Francisca (1833-1907) immigrated at the age of 23 in 1856 without any other family members
  • 1858 (or earlier) Marianna (1838-1911) was in Detroit by 1858 where she was a witness to her sister, Francisca's, marriage
  • 1867 - Elisabeth (1842-1905) married in Helden, near Serkenrode, in 1864 - she and her husband immigrated in 1867
  • 1867 or 1868 - Anna (1845-1919) married in Detroit in 1870 - her census records claim she immigrated in 1867 or 1868
When was it taken? 

Of the six siblings, Joseph (died 1888) was the earliest to die. Since he is missing from this photo, it was likely taken after his death. In fact, I wonder if it wasn't taken when the family got together for his funeral! Elisabeth died in 1905, so it had to have been taken before then.

Why did you select this photo?

Franciska "Frances" (Holthoefer) Adam was my great, great grandmother. Before last summer, I only knew her maiden name and I suspected that Caspar J. and Joseph Holthoefer of Detroit were her siblings. But, then I was contacted by several other Holthoefer descendants who were working on a Holthoefer Family book! They asked me to join them, and I did. Through that project, I was able to see a photograph of my great, great grandmother for the first time.

Oh, and why did I include her as a Fearless Female? She crossed the ocean by herself at the age of 23 in 1856. That sounds pretty fearless to me!

Special thanks to my co-contributors of Holthoefer Family History: A Historic Guide to Discovering Your Past from Serkenrode, Westhalia, Germany to the Early Years in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan: Robert J. Yagley, Helen (Thornton) Holt, Marsha (Anderson) Aragon, and Pamela Holthoefer. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Life of Almost 100 Years: Sallie (Dickson) Ward (Fearless Females Day 1)

As part of Women's History Month, Lisa Alzo has created 31 blogging prompts which you can find on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. If you're participating in the Fearless Females blogging challenge this month, let me know & I'll hop over & read your posts!


March 1st prompt: Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key fact you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

Sallie (~ age 58) is in the middle of the back row. My grandmother, Evelyn (~ age 3) is the little girl holding her pet chicken. On the left is Elsie Jo Ward (~ age 14), also holding a chicken, who is another of Sallie's granddaughters. On the right is Ethel Ward (~age 25), who is one of Sallie's daughters. (Photo from my grandmother's collection.)

My grandmother's grandmother, Sallie Harriett (Ward) Dickson is one of my favorite female ancestors. Why? Partly because she raised my grandmother, so I feel a closer connection to her then to other ancestors who were born in the mid-1800s. And, partly because of all she lived through during her almost 100 years... from the Civil War to both world wars... from the invention of cars and planes to the invention of electricity and movies... what an incredible world she lived in!

Her Story

Sallie, born November 27th, 1860 in Perry County, Tennessee, was the youngest of 9 children born to Matthew James Dickson (1820-1904) and Lenora "Nora" J Mays (1823-1909). At the age of 19, she married Reuben Houston Ward, a farmer who later became a Methodist minister. They had 9 children together, and one died as an infant. Reuben was murdered in 1906 at the age of 47 - I told his story here.

When Sallie's husband died, her 5 youngest children were ages 18, 15, 13, 10, & 7. A few years later, in the 1910 census, she was listed as a farmer. She must have worked hard raising this family without her husband!

One of Sallie's daughters, Lenora or Nora, married her cousin, James Bedford Dickson. They had five children, including my grandmother. My grandmother was only 9 months old when her mother, Nora, died. The father, James, raised the four older children. But, he probably didn't feel capable of raising a baby. That job went to his mother-in-law, Sallie, who was 55 years old. Sallie was the only "mother" my grandmother remembered.

Sallie H. (Dickson) Ward (Photo from my grandmother's collection)

Sallie raised not only her own children, but also my grandmother, and lived as a widow for more than 50 years. She died in 1960, just 3 months short of 100 years of age. She'd lived in the Perry County, Tennessee, surrounded by family and friends, her entire life. 

Research Plan:
  • Locate her in the 1940 census - still searching!
  • Find an obituary
  • See if 1960 death records will be available in a year or two (currently available until 1958)

TIPS: Working with German Newspaper Articles

As I mentioned in my last post , I recently found an article about one of my relatives from a 1916 German newspaper. I found the article on ...