Occupations are one of the most coveted gems of genealogy research — they give us a glimpse in to the daily lives of our ancestors in a way that few other raw details can. But if you’ve spent some time digging through old records you’ve probably come across jobs that you have never heard of, most likely because their necessity has faded away with time. You’ve probably even found yourself frantically googling some of these positions to gain a better understanding [...]
By Susan Wallin Mosey
Excerpts from the childhood of my mother-in-law, Donna Garver Mosey, in her own words:
I was the seventh born of fifteen children. (The fifteenth one, William, had a bad heart and lived only a few days.) I was born at home, as we all were. When a new baby was about to be born, we would go outside to play, if we could, in the old corn crib if it was empty. There was no telephone, so Dad would go and bring the midwife. I [...]
By Susan Wallin Mosey
More died from flu than from bullets that year… That was the sad truth in America in 1918. World War I was raging, but so was an influenza epidemic like the world had never seen. Theodore Peterson—my great uncle Ted—was an engineering student at the University of Nebraska when duty called. He never made it to Europe.
Although this photograph taken at his funeral is heart-wrenching to me, so too are the words of his sister Sara. She wrote this [...]
Even a “man of the cloth” can be a black sheep… Consider the case of Rev. George Washington Hays.
I used to be church historian at the church where I grew up. One summer I decided to read all the board minutes, starting at the beginning—1858. Not far into the project, my eyes were drawn to the word “alcoholic”— and I knew I had a story.
Rev. Hays was born in Macomb, Illinois in 1837, son of a physician. He was educated at Maryland College, then [...]
My husband’s great-uncle Wayne Nedry Alwood (1893-1948) had a Model T automobile similar to this one, pictured. Those puppies could be hard to start, and sometimes a person had to get creative. But Wayne’s brother-in-law, Walter Garver, discovered a system that worked.
Dale Garver, a cousin of my husband’s and a top-notch genealogy researcher, wrote and self-published a book about the Garver family in 2002 which he entitled One Tree in the Garver Family Jungle—Past and Present. [...]
Mosey, my married name, is an unusual American surname, with no obvious ethnic origin. But I have learned that it’s English in origin—Yorkshire, to be specific. My husband’s great-grandfather Robert Mosey was one of his “gateway ancestors”—an ancestor who came from elsewhere to settle in America.
Robert Mosey (1821-1884) was born in Bishop Wilton, a village in Yorkshire, England, to Richard Mosey and Sibby Johnson Mosey. From what I’ve been able to find out about Robert’s early [...]
Thank you to the free family history research site Crestleaf for contributing this fun guest post.
It is not uncommon for people to believe that their ancestors changed their surnames upon arrival at Ellis Island. And although we now know that this tale is actually quite a tall one (see the fascinating article on the topic from Mental Floss), many of us do have ancestors that changed their names after coming to the US for a variety of reasons.
But changing one’s name [...]
My ancestors ran the gamut from black sheep to outstanding citizen. But life isn’t fair… Those who honor faith and family, who play by the rules, sometimes suffer the most tragedy. Consider my Peterson ancestors.
My great-grandparents were Nebraska pioneers Carl Peterson (1861-1917) and Emelia Fryksdal Peterson (1861-1933). From all indications they were a close and loving family—Carl’s obituary was titled “Another Good Man Gone.” Eight children were born to them, all [...]