Saturday, February 7, 2009

Genealogy - One of My Interests


Genealogy is one of my interests. Although Johnny didn't share that particular interest, he accompanied me to court houses in a number of states, old cemeteries, and genealogical societies in search of my ancestors.

These are my paternal great grandparents. Willis Franklin Evans was born February 21, 1856 in Ohio and he was the oldest son of George W. Evans and Lavina Mackey who were pioneer settlers on this vicinity. He married Emma Winters in 1881. Emma was the daughter of George Winters and Mary Ann Stenger. In 1883 Willis and Emma traveled from Illinois to Blue Hill, Nebraska in a covered wagon. They had a few children in Nebraska then came back to the old home place in 1895. On their way back Willis, Jr. fell out of the wagon and his sister Lona saw him and got him back into the wagon. They had 12 children. Willis died on July 19, 1928. Emma died on December 28, 1935.

About 30 years ago I found this photo of Willis Franklin and Emma Winters Evans among some old pictures of my grandmother's. I knew that they were farmers and thought that they looked like a very hard working couple. I also thought that their clothes hinted of poverty.




Imagine my surprise when a second cousin shared this photo with me. It was then that I learned that much care and planning was involved during those days when having formal portraits taken. In this formal portrait, they appear to be a prosperous couple.

My grandfather, Edward Charles Evans, was the oldest son of Willis and Emma. He was born June 6, 1887 in Blue Hill, Nebraska. He worked as a superintendent for Tower Products Company in Chicago, IL. On September 24, 1925 he suffered injuries at work when something weighing 700 pounds fell on him. He died on Sunday morning, February 14, 1926 in West Side Hospital from toxemia due to fracture of the spine when he was injured. My father was only nine years old at the time of his father's death.
As my sister and I never knew any of our father's family, we are hoping to travel to Illinois and meet some of our father's relatives.

33 comments:

Donna Marie said...

Oh Sweetie... what a FANTASTIC post! Genealogy is my favorite pass time! I have traced my paternal side back to 1754! I have been researching for 13 years now! I have some great pics and tons of great stories!

Thanks for sharing! I love "family" history stories!

xoxoxoxoxxooxxo
Donna Marie

Carol said...

It's wonderful that you know so much history about your ancestors! I wish I knew more about mine.
Smiles,
Carol

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

What a great family. Thanks for sharing. I love genealogy too. So often we don't realize that we are making history ourselves. Blogging can share what we do with our family. We can not only pass on our heritage from long ago, but record what we are doing now.

Smilingsal said...

I have a cousin who has kindly shared her results from an extensive search. It's interesting.

Linda said...

Isn't it interesting to find out about the past? Your pictures are a real keeper.

onlymehere said...

Have you tried googling their names or checking out their names in google images? I found a gold mine on a 4th great grandfather of mine this way. Someone else had posted what they had. Good luck in your search. I love geneology too but it's been put on the back burner for now. I think it's important to remember where we came from bz it certainly shapes who we are! My husband doesn't share my love of genology either. Also the LDS church shares their information on geneology with everyone, no matter their faith. They have census bureaus and all sorts of information that may help you in your search. Have a great weekend Sweetie.

Linda said...

Sweetie, this is so intersesting and the photos are wonderful additions to the story. I love history and to research and record your heritage must be so rewarding. I hope you share more..hugs, Linda

Connie said...

I'm doing genealogy also, honey. One of my relatives has it back to the 11th century. Very interesting when ya get into it.
SMooches and Happy PS,
Connie

Neas Nuttiness said...

onlymehere, is correct about using the LDS Family History Centers. Just look up the church in your local phone book, and call them to see which building in the area has the Family History Center, and the days and hours of operation. They can be a wonderful help, to anyone, regardless of religion, race, or nationality!

♥ Kathy said...

Love genealogy and loved your history too! Thank you for sharing it. It is so great that you have those pictures. And I like the difference in the posed picture and the regular picture. Amazing that even then they worried about appearances :) I loved this post! I hope you have a great weekend. ♥

Susan said...

Oo I love genealogy too! I have been working on it (on and off) for over 20 years!

Susan

Mama said...

Hello Sweetie, I really enjoyed this post and looking at all your family photo's. I have been working on my dad's side of the family and have so far got back to 1830, (sadly we have very few photographs) it is time consuming but so worth it, I am making family tree folders to give to my children.
How exciting for you to be travelling to Illinois to meet your father's relatives.

Raggedy Girl said...

This must be so much fun and I would love to try it if I wasn't already overwhelmed in hobbies. I am fortunate in that an aunt did my Dad back to the 1600s so I could work on my Mom. My Dad was from Nebraska too.
Very good post. Thank you!
♥Roberta Anne

Jeni said...

Ah ha! Another little interest we have in common! I have four family trees on my computer that I have been, still am, researching. My Mom's side has been fairly easy to do and I have it traced back to the early 1600s in Sweden on her father's side. My maternal grandma's has been tougher to get records from Sweden. But my Dad's side has been a zoo! Both my great-grandfathers on my Dad's side were married twice and both had families to each wife. Neither surname had any oddity about it either -common names they are -Hill and Nelson! Try researching those puppies. However, about 10 years ago, I lucked out and found a cousin of my Dad's who had been doing tree stuff for 14 years then and had a big tree done on almost every member of the family from out west -Montana, Wyoming, etc., and the only part she was missing was from the Penna. branch -which is my Dad's siblings, and their offspring, She sent me her info, I sent her mine and that was a huge breakthrough for me there! Lucky, lucky is how I felt about that deal!
I belong to Ancestry.com -use their services a good bit to search for stuff. I find it really fascinating -but then I always did love history.

imjacobsmom said...

Very interesting Sweetie! My Mom was the baby of her family and we know very little history from her side. My Dad's family wrote a book and we have a lot of info. I have always thought about digging into it, but like the others I have put that on the back burner. ~ Robyn

PEA said...

Isn't it so exciting to find out new things about our ancestors!! I've always been fascinated by genealogy and have managed to find a lot about my own ancestors. Mom is 77 years old and I'm always asking her questions about her parents and grandparents:-) How wonderful it would be for you to meet some of your father's relatives one day!! xoxo

Anne said...

How interesting. I to like to work on geneology. I think it's so fasinating. I just loved those old pictures you posted. Those are some nice keepsakes to pass down to your family. Have a nice weekend.

Helen said...

Hi there! I haven't delved too much into my family history, but it sounds like a fascinating pasttime. I do know my great great grandfather on my Dad's side of the family came to this country from Germany rolled up in an old carpet on a boat/ship of some kind. A real stow-away!

Judy said...

WOW! What a difference in the two pictures. I am sure times were very hard back then for a lot of people. I am finally back online and trying to visit all my blogging friends and catch up. Thanks for your kind comments and remarks during our ice storm here in Kentucky. The only ice I want to see from now on is in my refrigerator!!

Cherdecor said...

Sweetie, Since your relatives are from Ohio, could you be related to BOB EVANS who has the restaurant? He has a farm in southeastern Ohio that I visited one time. I think he died last year.

Nancy said...

Sweetie:
Here again, we have something in common. I have researched my Mother's family and did 7
scrapbooks for my family. I have a cousin who did my Dad's side and I need to contact her to see if I can get copies.
Your pictures are wonderful. I am happy for you that you have found this info.
I want to go farther back yet.
Nancy

prof en retraite said...

Hi Sweetie...That's so interesting! I love the old pictures! So glad big sis discovered her baby brother was missing from the covered wagon! That's quite a story! Have a great weekend...Debbie

Bridget said...

I seem to run into stone walls when I try to search. I need a class on how to do this! I have some information that a cousin did for my maternal side but it falls apart once it gets to the Europeans.
I have seen a lot of photos similar to these. I think they were all pretty proud of their cars because they are featured in a lot of photos.

Jill said...

That really was a great post! It's got to be so much fun when you go back in time and find out about your roots! I haven't done any of the searching myself but I have had some history dug up by a distant cousin. It's amazing what you find!

Lisa Loo said...

I LOVE family history!! I have been working on my husbands and find the stories and pictures riveting! Thanx for sharing!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

WOW, this was awesome to learn this! I am an avid genealogist myself-I have over 12, 000 names in my family file!
I want to let you know that I have an account on ancestory.com. I went on there and looked up your grandparents and found out some intereting things!
If you're interested email me and I will share with you what found out!

Diane said...

Hi Sweetie, this is my first visit to your blog. Your genealogy post attracted my attention. I also posted about my ancestry today! I loved reading your post and found it fascinating. I have been working on my family for about 5 years and I'm addicted! Thank you for sharing part of your family story. BTW, the girls and the grandkids are fabulous! Beautiful girls and precious, precious grandchildren!

Diane
http://auntdisexperimentallife.blogspot.com/

Diane said...

Hi Sweetie, this is my first visit to your blog. Your genealogy post attracted my attention. I also posted about my ancestry today! I loved reading your post and found it fascinating. I have been working on my family for about 5 years and I'm addicted! Thank you for sharing part of your family story. BTW, the girls and the grandkids are fabulous! Beautiful girls and precious, precious grandchildren!

Diane
http://auntdisexperimentallife.blogspot.com/

debbie said...

SWEETIE,
MY MOTHER AND MY MOTHER N' LAW BOTH LOVE GENEALOGY....AND I LOVE IT TOO...I LOVE THE RESEARCH EVEN THOUGH IT CAN BE FRUSTRATING AT TIMES...SOME PEOPLE/RELATIVES ARE WONDERFUL TO SHARE WHAT THEY KNOW WHILE OTHERS ARE NOT....I CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT BECAUSE I WILL SHARE ANYTHING I KNOW...ONE OF MY FATHER'S BEST FRIENDS...LAST NAME IS EVANS...HIM AND HIS WIFE ARE NEAT PEOPLE BUT I DON'T REALLY KNOW MUCH ABOUT HIS FAMILY HISTORY......
I THINK IT IS SO INTERESTING.
HUGS TO YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTERS
debbie

Kathy said...

A wonderful post, Sweetie! I love genealogy too.

Susan S. said...

Great and interesting post, Sweetie! I love to see old photos and hear about family history! Thanks for sharing your story.

char72 said...

Interesting story and I love the old photos. It always impressed me that people used to never smile in photos. They were always solemn. Wonder why that was? Now seems like people always smile.
Charlotte

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