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29 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Missionary Name Badges

There are a few missionaries who identify themselves with name badges. My husband had several badges. I want to conclude his mission specific items by featuring his collection. 

Although this arrangement of photos makes it hard to tell, but the second photo has a slight change in the orientation of the badges. When viewing these on my computer, the difference is subtle enough to have make a big difference. The second photo feels like the name badges are closer together. If I wanted to crop the images, I wouldn't have to worry about them being too far apart.

The tip this week is to simply take several photos. Small adjustments can have a huge impact. And, that small difference doesn't have to matter to much to someone else. Perhaps only you know the difference. Go with the ones that you prefer. 

28 May 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Louise's Mother Page

Sepia photos featuring female subjects are so fun to scrapbook. Father's pages are a bit challenging to not go overboard with the frills. Mother's pages allow you to go all out.

Credits: background - SHobbs; journal paper - Ozark Mountain High Road; book plate - Shabby Fallflourish - The Emily Files; brads, stitching -  Mother May Iflowers - Spa Holiday

I really love the color scheme for this scrapbook. It has been so fun and the designers created so many elements that worked so well together. The flourish element that is behind the photo and journling added a nice flow to the page.

Louise's mother Lura Maude (Smith) Long was also beautiful, making the page design a cinch. The three photos show Lura throughout her adult life. Her early adulthood, her young motherhood stage with her adopted daughters. Lura rarely looked at the camera when her chidlren were young. Either she was shy or she adored her little ones. And finally, a photo of her much older, perhaps before her death when Louise was 13. These photos also show the progression of photography as the decades changed. That's a subtle bonus to using photos from different time periods.

As for page design, the stitching at the bottom actually looks better in print. Perhaps I could have backed it up with a ribbon to make the peach and green contrast more. However, I really didn't want your eyes to go to the bottom of the page. I wanted the stitching to be a visual stop.

After adding a few flowers, the page was done. The stories and photos take center stage. And that's my philosophy in page creation. Focus on the content, rather than the decoration.

Feel free to share links to your mother's page creations. Let's all be inspired together.

27 May 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Prechtel in St Joseph

Two years ago, I visited the St. Joseph's Cemetery in Lockbourne, Ohio. It is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever been in.

When I photographed the cemetery, I photographed a number of stones while I was searching for relatives and doing volunteer work. I came across this stone:

Prechtel Family stone in the St. Joseph's Cemetery. Photo by Devon Lee
I searched and searched and and I was unable to determine any facts about these individuals. Since the photos were not of family members, I wasn't certain if I could ask the office about it. The folks in the office were courteous and provided the following information:
This monument is in St Cecilia SectionWe do not h ave any record of burial for Ellen or Donald. 
The following are interred on the lot:John Donald Prechtel (infant) DOD 1/5/1925Leona Prechtel died 12/25/1971 at the age of 82John J. Prechtel died 11/11/1969 at the age of 84
Thanks to that information, I was able to track down further information for the memorial page on Additionally, I was able to determine that their son Donald, is John Donald that the cemetery has record of. Ellen does not seem to have been buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery though her parents had a spot for her.

I hope some day a Prechtel family member will be pleased with my research.

22 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Mission Pamphlets

The resources available to assist missionaries in planning lessons and messages were numerous when my husband served a mission. Missionaries these days have a different collection of resources. And, in ten years or so, there might be even more changes. I thought it was important to photograph the materials he used to teach those he met with on his mission.

Of the two photos, I like the second one better. One of the key points I hear over and over in photography blog posts is the need to get in close. Sure the first photo shows every part of the pamphlets. However, the second one fills the frame and has a more intimate feeling.

This second collection of photos also includes his Chinese dictionaries. Though not specific to our religion, they certainly have been used again and again when a word was needed. The stacked books also served to prop up the photo of the meaning of the whole mission.

Again both photos showcased the same subject. The first one was from a standing level looking down on the items. The second photo is more eye level with the photograph. And again, the second photo feels more intimate because of the change in perspective.

As I've learned in the past, grouping items can tell a richer story than photographing items individually. If you can, group your items. This series attemped to demonstrate how prospective can change a good photo to a better one.

When you photograph your personal history items, be sure to get close and photograph from different perspectives. See if these changes take your photos from good to better and perhaps even to great.

21 May 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Louise's Father Page

Grannie loved her father. She had a special connection with him after her mother's death when she was 13. Harry would take Louise to the golf course. Though she wasn't allowed, he'd let her swing a few strokes. Louise loved all sorts of sports during her teen years. It is no wonder she found these moments with her father so wonderful.

Heritage Scrapbook Layouts Fathers
Heritage Scrapbook Layouts already done
Credit: background - SHobbs; floral flourish - A Narrative (Scrap Girls); journal paper - Ozark Mountain High Road; book plate - Shabby Fall; brad, stitching -  Mother May Iflowers - Spa Holidayaltered diamond paper - Hello, Aunty;  metal element - Chore Daywire element - An Old Fashioned Christmas

That's the only definite memory Louise shared about her hard working father. For the journaling, I included the story at the end, but featured her memories of her parents collectively.  If all I shared was the golfing story, I would have limited the impression you have of Harry. When the stories are limited, you might have to combine topics in order to create bit of journaling.

Designing this page was tricky. This page features photos a male subject, a father; however, the journaling includes stories of both parents. The page couldn't be a 'true' father's page.

Louise's Scrapbook Color Scheme

The color scheme for the overall album is very feminine. I was fortunate to have two photos of Harry looking dapper. One with his wife Lura early in their marriage and the other when he was in his later years. In heritage albums, it's important to show changes over time. With one page for Louise's father, these two photos perform that task nicely.

Harry Long of Columbus, Ohio 1936
Harry Long of Columbus, Ohio
Playing golf in 1936

Recently, I came across the photo of Harry playing golf. I would have loved to have a photo of Louise doing the same thing to highlight the golf story. It was not available. Yet, the photo of Harry looking well dressed to play golf in the 1930's is so fitting as well.

Family Trees in Scrapbooks
Mini-Family Tree for Heritage Scrapbook Layout

With the three photos and the journaling in place, I wanted add another historical element to the layout. The use of mini-trees helps you remember and share the relationships of people on the page. Notice how Louise is highlighted in green, as is her father. The other persons are obviously her sister and her mother. The mini-tree helps to supports the story from the teenager layout about Marguerite's Mafia. You can see how much older Marguerite is than Louise. On the page I share next week, you will learn about Louise's mother Lura. Use mini-trees where possible to help visually show the relationships of family members. Use color variations to feature the people in the book and on the page.

Finally, back to the color scheme issue. The color scheme I used is very feminine, but has a lot of possibilities. I could have selected a tan background for this layout. However, the page faces the page about Louise's mother. That page will be very feminine. I opted for the green as the background to compliment and unite the two layouts. Then I used tan and the lighter peach as mats for Harry's photos. The pinkish-peach was reserved for the family tree. The use of metal accents also lends a masculine feel to the page. Perhaps I could have done more to prevent this Father's Page from looking so girly. I opted to use the more neutral parts of the color palette and not use flowers.

Have fun with your father's pages. Some of them will have a strong feel for them. Others will compliment the color scheme chosen and the facing page in the final family history scrapbook. What tips do you have to feature a father in a scrapbook about a female ancestor?

UPDATE: I used the wrong birthdate for my Grannie. She actually was born on the 21st of May, but she celebrated the 22nd until she realized the error much later in life. Alas, Happy Birthdays Grannie! 

15 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Chinese Language Helps

Mandarin Chinese Language Resources
Last week I shared about the scriptures that my husband used to study the gospel while on his mission. This week I'm sharing the resources he had to help him learn the language contained in those scriptures.

He had flash cards, a 'common words' book, and other manuals to help learn to read and converse in the language. What's interesting is that he says he never really learned how to write Mandarin. With the language, it's hard enough to learn to read and speak it. I'm hearing impaired and had the worst time attempting to learn even a few words of the tonal language.

The other thing I noticed is that his "Chinese Missionary Guide' was for the Taiwan Taipei mission. Again, few missionaries went to Canada to speak Mandarin. Most went to Taiwan or other places. So of course, some of his resources have Taiwan written on them. It just didn't make much sense to have a Canadian specific guide.

Again, this photograph was taken using natural window light and a 'seamless' backdrop. I've decided I don't mind the wrinkles so much. It fits with the 'unkept' look of my husband's dorm room at the training center and the missionary apartments. In the future, I will work on getting a material that is wrinkle free.

14 May 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Vintage Teenager

Ah the teenage years! The time before adulthood but after childhood. Many people talk about the 1930s as a difficult, oppressive time for our country. My Grannie either didn't seem to notice or didn't tell many stories in the negative light. For one thing, my grandmother started the 1930s as a ten year-old and ended it as a 20 year-old. (Being that she was born in May 1920, counting her age is always easy.)

About the Content 

To show case this time period of her life, I featured stories Grannie shared in a personal interview. The journaling includes so many of my favorite stories. The story of her sister running "Margeruite's Mafia'. The story of her personality saying, "I like everybody" when asked who she liked best. The story of the Gas House girls: Betty Ford, Betty Maxim, Ethyl Snyder, Lavonne, Deloris Paver, Jennie Jane Lemon, and Patty Gal.

The most relatable story is about her boyish figure and short hair. Grannie didn't feel extremely beautiful and was often mistaken for a boy. However, she was a such tom-boy that this didn't matter, until the dating years.

Stories make our family members real. I hope you will use them in your next heritage scrapbook project.

Credits: peach paper Enjoy the Ride; green paper Wagon Train; flourish - The Emily Files; frame & altered diamond paper - Hello, Aunty; brad, green & cream flower - Spa Holiday; pink flower Mother May I; fastener - Sweet Sprinkles

About the Layout Process

Give plenty of room for the stories. Then, you can go a little crazy on the embellishments. With this blocky grid structure, I had plenty of areas that easily accepted more embellishments.

This two-page layout is about a teenager in the 1930s. For some, the 1930s was a difficult time period. For others, life just went on. For my grandmother, it was about her sister, her friends, and her parents. It was a happy time in her life. With the previously chosen color scheme, I can showcase that happy time.

Make sure your color scheme matches the perspective of your featured individual rather than a perceived perspective from a history book or other source. This happy time period in my grandmother's life would look out of sorts on a color scheme that was dark and gloomy. That wasn't her view.

When you tell the story of a historically difficult time period, be careful that you take in the perspective of our particular ancestor.

Feel free to include links to your heritage scrapbooking pages in the comments below. Discover more of my tips and strategies for creating a heritage scrapbook in the eBook Create a Family History Scrapbook Digitally in 12 Simple Steps available at

12 May 2014

Motivation Monday: Touched by Gratitude

I have been dabbling in family history for around 20 years. I started really young, back in the dinosaur era. Okay, okay. Not that far back. But back when PAF was new! That's long ago. As I have learned more about citing my sources and not necessarily believing every undocumented thing I see, I have shared my research. For years I have researched with very few cousin connections, and thus very little appreciate for my getting lost in the branches of my tree.

That is until I received an email last month. I'll keep the person's information private but I want to share the bulk of the email. Mind you, this came through the member connection service. Collaborative Genealogy at its best!
Subject: Comfort family 
I have been working on my family tree on my grandfathers side recently. I was able to open up a huge portion of it and part of that is thanks to you and the research you have done, I just wanted to say thank you! On this portion on my family's side nothing was ever talked about and at this point my grandfather is in no condition to share any information unfortunately. 
My great great grandfather would of been Alanson Comfort, his daughter Nellie was my great grandmother, her son is Ronald Crayford who is my grandfather. 
You've done an amazing job of your family tree and again I thank you for making the information public!
Alanson is the brother of my 2nd great grandfather, Alonzo Comfort. I am humbled by her gratitude. I simply followed the suggested family trees I was given and attached records that proved or disproved the relationships along the way. When I was stuck on Alonzo, I would work on his siblings. I never thought anyone would appreciate my efforts. It's nice to know that not only did someone appreciate the work, but found their research open up. Additionally, they took the time to share their gratitude. I need to follow this person's example and thank others when their research benefits me.

Happy Monday!

10 May 2014

5 Things I've learned while writing their story

Since January, I have been  writing the stories of my father's ancestors. It is now May and I have learned a few things while turning their names, dates, and places into a genealogical narrative at the barest minimum.

1. Make the project smaller

Internally, I used RootsMagic to produce a Narrative Report. It is a great start for the narrative project, but is only a tool to get the narrative going. I have to use the tool to make the story have more details. Another way to put it. The generated report gave me the frame upon which to build the house.

When asked how many generations I wanted back from my father, I selected 10. Why not? Right? Um... no. The difficulty comes in the 7th generation. The record details get sketchy. I also have not done much in the way to verify the research that keeps 'making the rounds'. And I don't want to at this time.

The other challenge is that I also have my mother's line to do. There is no way I can get through all of the ancestors if I work back to the 10th generation. I believe that family history should be a collaborative effort. And this project needs to record what I have research and the stories I have learned. So, I scaled back the generations to 7 generations. Something tells me that I could probably cut that generation from the project as well. We'll see.

In short, keep the project manageable by reducing the scope.

2. Focus on the parents

I started working on the parents and the children in the generations closest to me. My father had no siblings. The children were his aunts and uncles and his great aunts and uncles. I did have a lot of stories that I learned on my research trip in 2012. However, as I started moving back to the 3rd and 4th generation back, I felt overwhelmed. Again, I'm working on father's work, but I would NEVER get to mother's at this rate.

So, the children of the parents will just have to wait. This initial effort is to capture the stories of each family. I can best accomplish that by working on the parents. Someday, well into the future, either I will have more helpers or I will have more time.

In short, I'm going to focus on the parents' stories.

3. No further research

Gasp! I know. How can anyone say not to do more research? Well, if you are building a new home, you have to build the exterior of the house before you can work on the tile floor. (Can you tell I've lived through a remodeling project?)

The RootsMagic report gave me the frame for my project. It organized my family members and provided sample sentences based upon the events each individual has accumulated. With the help of timelines and additional charts, I can see patterns and relationships that allow me to turn the sample sentence into something with more depth. I can put the exterior walls up.

As I have spent more time on each parent, I have found gaps in information. Taking the time to research every gap will prevent me from getting this initial effort finished. Instead, I need to leave notes in my manuscript or in RootsMagic, to remind me of future research needs. The purpose is to write what can be determine now based on already completed research. Sure, if something seems wrong, I might did a little to sort it out. But I have to tell myself it's better to create a future research list and finish this project rather than what the opposite approach will produce.

In short, create a To Do List rather than spend time doing additional research.

4. Historical icing comes later

I have read numerous articles about the need to add historical context to the family stories we present. That's all well and good, but it's not for this stage.

Now, I have had to add a bit of context in the case of Ontario, Canada. From 1830 to 1880, British North America, specifically the Canadian area, underwent a few governmental changes. At first, the area pertaining to Ontario was Upper Canada. Then this became Canada West. Eventually, it became a united Canada and the province of Ontario was formed.

In order to remember, and present, the location of family members who lived in Canada at this time, I want to be as accurate as possible in the location. When I present a birth location contrary to most 'accepted' family research, I do it with the historical information. So, if I say the birth place in 1832 was in Upper Canada rather than in Lincoln, Ontario, Canada, I mention that the three last locations had not been established yet.

Outside of this situation, I have to restrain myself from looking up historically significant events such as rulers in Bavaria, Germany.

In short, the historical context comes later as well. It's the decorative furniture put in the house after the inspector says a home is approved for habitation.

5. Sort the citations later

RootsMagic did a great job of providing the source citations in the Narrative Report. For some reason I was unable to create a document that was editable and still linked the citations. I soon realized that the citations were getting scrambled.

Additionally, when you're writing something, the first draft just needs to come out of your head and get into the computer. That's what I'm doing. Getting the thoughts and stories out of my head and into a more usable form. I restrain myself from including unsourced information as much as possible. If I include an unsourced piece of information, I mention that in the narrative.

In short, there will be time to manage and format the source information. Focus on getting the stories written.

There you have it. I am now 62% done with the ancestors on father's side and it's the fifth month of the year. I hope to pick up the pace a little over the summer. I hope to get to my mother's project by July. I might have to take August off from blogging to focus heavily on her line. I'll keep you posted.

08 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Mission Scriptures

Latter-Day Saint missionaries are allowed a few resources for scripture study. They include the Bible, Book of Mormon, and hymnals. For my husband who served a foreign speaking mission, his scriptures and hymnal were in Mandarin Chinese.

Mandarin Chinese scriptures and song book
My husband wrote about his time in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah for his personal history. The story includes learning Mandarin Chinese. He was one of a small few who were learning the language and not going to an Asian country. He was going up north to Canada! He still gets strange looks about that combination. However, the missionaries who served in this area and the people who lived there, know exactly why the language missionaries were needed.

The first photograph shows the stack of books to emphasize which books were appropriate to read on his mission. In the coming weeks, I will share other resources he could use to assist him in making sense of what these books contain and for assistance in teaching potential members.

Interior of scriptures written in Mandarin Chinese

This second photo focuses on the act of reading. With an open book, you can see what the scriptures my husband read looked like. I can not read Mandarin, so I'm not sure which page this is. However, this photo invites you to imagine a young man studying and preaching in a different language.

Another view of the scriptures surrounded by other reading material
This third photograph simply changes the perspective. Although the second photo zooms in on the writing, this last one captures the collection of items and the opened page. By changing the orientation of the camera, the photo drew the elements together. This one is my personal favorite of the last two photos.

As I mentioned before, I'm working on my husband's missionary scrapbook. He has provided me with a lot of wonderful photos and the stories behind the photos. Combined with these artifact photos, I look forward to telling his story to inspire his children.

Heritage scrapbooking is not only about people who have long passed or are in the sunset of their lives. Heritage scrapbooking is also about the legacy we live our posterity. Many religions invite their members to do mission work. If you have participated in a mission, consider photographing the souvenirs you brought back from the adventure. Then combine the photos in a slide show or scrapbook to inspire your children and grandchildren.

FYI: The set up for these photographs was near an open window using soft natural light. The 'seamless' backdrop was still a bit more wrinkled than I had hoped. I used a white foam board to bounce light back onto the artifacts. 

07 May 2014

Heritage Scrapbooking: Childhood in Sepia

Ah the wonders of childhood. There's something magical about our ancestors when they were children. For those who are fortunate to have a collection of childhood photos, I share this two-page layout featuring my Grannie Louise Brown.

Scrapbook Layout with Sepia & Black & White Photos
Childhood in Sepia & Black & White Photos

Scrapbooking with Sepia & Black & White Photos
Childhood in Sepia & Black & White Photos
Credits: yellow flower & altered lace - Spa Holiday, green paper - Pink's Poetic Scraps, handwriting paper - A Narrative (by Scrap Girls), peach paper - Tea Party by No Reimer Reason, pink tag, staple, ribbon - Hello, Aunty; pink flower Mother May I

About the Photos

I love the photos of Grannie as a little girl. The one where she's wearing a period style hat and waving a flag is so adorable. My Grannie was a fairly easy going person, and this photo is such a gem.

My Grannie spoke of how her mother would dress her and her sister in matching outfits that Lura (the mother) had made. I am so glad that I have a photo of the girls in definite matching dresses. Oh how I would love to have seen them in color.

I do not know the story about the swing but I like how there is a photo of the girls in the swing and then one of Grannie and her mother. I wonder if Grannie's father was taking the photos or if the ladies traded off. If Grannie's father wasn't in attendance, I wonder what the occasion was and why her daddy wasn't there.

The final two photos remind me so much of my aunt, my mother's youngest sister, not the oldest. The one on the bottom left especially. Growing up and seeing this photo, I thought it was my aunt. However, the date of the photograph was much older than my aunt. Isn't it amazing how much a like family members can seem? So much so, that a date on the photograph is necessary to determine who is in the photo.

Finally, the photo of Grannie on her bike. I didn't realize just how much Grannie loved riding a bike as I was growing up and discovering her story. She lived far away from me, or I might have seen my Grannie riding a bike in the 1980s in her 60s. In her later years, she supported an organization in Columbus, Ohio that provided bikes to needy children. Grannie always felt young people should have a bike because she enjoyed riding so much. When I discovered this photo after her death, I was so excited to have a photo to compliment the new to me information about my Grannie's childhood.

Layout Design Tips

This layout is extremely simple, based on a four spot grid. Each spot has the option to use a full-sized photo or a decorative paper. The balance created by having each spot use the same rectangular shape is so pleasing.

The layout forced my horizontal images to be smaller than the full space allowed. However, a few of my photos are no larger that the space they take up on the decorative paper. Using the decorative paper to frame the smaller photos gave these treasures enough weight. The smaller photos do not become overshadowed by the larger images. Additionally, I had a perfect spot to include journaling while maintaining page balance as well.

And added bonus of this layout is created by using a photo that is smaller than the space provided.  I had the perfect spot to use a few decorative elements. Perhaps I could have use a few more elements, but I always strive to keep the focus on the photos and stories.

I used many of the coordinating embellishments from the  Mother May I
kit as well as the peach paper in the paper pack. One example of the kits
designed by  the talented Correen Silke.

You may have noticed in the credits that I used several items from different kits. This project relies heavily upon three kits from Correen Silke. That makes sense as many designer's naturally have things that can mix and match. When I still wanted something extra, I scoured my digital supplies and found the remaining items.

Heritage Scrapbooking color scheme
Color Palette for Louise's Scrapbook

One final thought. With this color palette, I'm able to showcase the sepia colored photos alongside black and white images. Some papers do not complement the aged photos as well as other colors. In crafting the pages, I did have to play with the different colors and different page textures in order to highlight each individual photo the best. This is another reason why I like the color palette. Using a variety of different pieces from various kits, and a simple layout design makes all these components work together.

Next week's layout will feature my Grannie as a teenager in the 1930s. You'll be surprised that her photographic view of the 'Great Depression' is an under told side of the story.

05 May 2014

Mystery Monday: Which Karlsberger married Charles Stahl?

Genealogy is kind of addicting. Sometimes, I get rather lost in the branches. As such, I run into mysteries that I can't seem to solve from the top down. I figured the genealogy community is awesome and may have ways to help me solve a mystery. Otherwise, perhaps a Karlsberger from Franklin County, Ohio might stumble upon my blog and help me solve this problem.

My potential 3rd great-grand uncle George Paul Karlsberger was born on 10 August 1825 in Bavaria. Another researcher suggested his connection to my 3rd great-grandmother Anna Magaretha Karlsberger who married Christian or Christopher Hoppe. Margaretha was born 29 February 1824. There are no definitive records linking George and Margaretha. And Margaretha's parents were not recorded, though parents for George were suggested.

As you can see, I am about to head down a twig on the tree that might be gnarled, or legitimate. George Karlsberger had six children born in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio to his wife Maria Elizabeth Danner (born 8 July 1833 in Germany). The mystery concerns two of his children. I'll disregard the other children for the purpose of this post.

In the 1870 US Census1 , George and Maria are living in the Montgomery area of Franklin, Ohio. The two daughters in question Magdalena, 8, and Margaret, 6, are in the home (along with the other children).

In the 1880 US Census2, George and Maria are living in the Marion area of Franklin, Ohio. Again the two daughters in question are recorded but this time their names are Mary M, 18, and Maggie, 16. Maggie is often a nickname for Magdalena. Family records record Mary M as Mary Margaret.

Which age/name combination is correct? Is Mary Margaret 18 or 16 in 1880 and thus which age is Magdalena or Maggie? This seems a minor inconvenience until one asks the follow question:

Who did Charles H Stahl marry on 12 Apr 1883?

Marriage of  Charles Stall to Mary Calsberger
"Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994," index and images, FamilySearch (Charles Stall and Mary Carlsberger,
12 Apr 1883; citing Franklin, Ohio, United States, reference 25; FHL microfilm 285149.

At quick glance, one would be lead to believe that this would be Mary Margaret Karlsberger.

The 1900 US census would appear to support this claim. The family included:

Head Chas. H. Stahl, 42
Wife Mary M. Stahl, 38
Daughter Mary E. Stahl, 17
Daughter Odelia Stahl, 15
Daughter Katie M. Stahl, 12
Daughter Artie Stahl, 10
Daughter Ivy Stahl, 7
Son Harvey C. Stahl, 4

The 1910 US Census has the family as this:

Head  Charles H Stahl, 50
Wife Mary M Stahl, 47
Daughter Catia M Stahl, 21
Daughter Artie B Stahl, 19
Daughter Ivy E Stahl, 16
Son Harvey C Stahl, 14
Daughter Lorene L Stahl, 9
Daughter Hellen M Stahl, 6

** their eldest daughter Mary should be married to Mr. Francisco

The 1920 US Census records the family as this:
Head Charles Stahl, 60
Wife Mary M Stahl 58
Daughter Katy M Stahl 31
Daughter Ivy Stahl, 27
Son Harvey Stahl, 23
Daughter Lovenne Stahl, 19
Daughter Helen Stahl, 16

** Arite is no longer in the home.

The 1930 US Census records shows the family as this:
Head Charles H Stahl, 70
Wife Mary M Stahl, 67
Daughter Lorinna L Stahl 29

The 1940 US Census records shows the family as this:
Head  Charles H Stahl, 80
Wife Mary M Stahl, 77
Daughter Lorinna L Stahl 59 (although this should probably read 39)

The name of Mary M Stahl remains consistent through the Census records. The age suggests the person is the older of the two sisters in question. Case closed, the mother's name is Mary M Stahl with the M standing for Margaret.

However, the trouble comes when the marriage records for the children are examined.

Mary E.'s second marriage, in 1917, lists her mother as Magdalina Karlsberger but her 1920 death record lists her mother's name as Mary Karlsberger.

Odelia's 1906 marriage record doesn't help as she does not name her mother's first name, only the last name of Carlsberger.

Katie M's 1888 birth record indicates that her mother's name is Mary M Karleberger but her 1923 marriage record lists her mother as Magdalene Garlsberger

Ivy's 1893 birth record indicates her mother's name is Mary M Carlsberger and her 1927 death record says Mary Karlsburger

Charles H Stahl was born in 1896 and his mother was Mary M Karlsberger. It is believed Charles H became known as Havery C.

Helen's 1940 second marriage record lists her mother as May Kalsberger

Lorinne Lucille's 1992 death record only lists her father and mother's last names.

Charles' 1946 death record indicates that he was married to Mary M Stahl.


Given the above information, one would be lead to believe that use of Magdalene, the sister or Mary M Karlsberger, was an error on the part of someone providing the information or the person writing the information down. Especially since two records for the same person conflict at later dates. 

What do you think?

01 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Missionary Series Begins

Thank you for everyone who enjoyed my husband's Boy Scout collection. If you missed the series, you can find it by going to the Photographing Memorabilia section of this blog.

For the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of the cool things that I had the opportunity to photograph regarding my husband's missionary years. I will be working on his missionary scrapbook. These artifacts will fit nicely with the other photos, documents, and memories that my husband preserved. I'm not sure when I'll complete the scrapbook but when I do, and with his approval, I'll share those pages. The challenge of doing a man's missionary scrapbook is definitely worth detailing.

f/4.5, exp 1/15, exp bias +0.3, ISO 100
Center Weight Average Metering
I've shared before how plaques can be a P-A-I-N to photograph. Photographing my husband's Missionary plaque is no different. This plaque is a bit larger than the one I shared before. It didn't fit into my make shift light box. I used the seamless backdrop set up with a white foam board reflecting the natural light back onto the subject. The set up was easy after so much practice.

What isn't easy is arranging my camera, on a tripod, to look straight now on the object without having the camera or anything reflect back at you in the shiny surfaces. Remember that I'm an amateur and I don't know all the tricks. I remind you of this because I suspect most of my readers are not pros. So, what do you do?

Well, I accepted the fact that I would not have a straight on image as much as I had hoped. The camera is angled away from the item and the reflections are minimized. Remember that having a 'good enough' photo of an item is better than nothing at all.

In the coming weeks I'll be sharing a variety of items. With some of my readers having their own mission experiences or their children currently serving missions, I hope this series of posts will be inspiring. Perhaps we'll see a few ideas of how to capture and preserve the mission memories, besides my own. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Feel free to leave a link to your own mission artifact posts in the comment section so the readers of this blog can be inspired by the photographs you've taken. You can also include the stories behind the treasures. Isn't that the point of the photography?

One final thing, many people serve in a variety of missionary capacities. Your collection might have items very different than the ones I share. Do not feel that your mission items aren't worth capturing. In fact, they are just as important.

While you're waiting for the next post, you might want to revisit the story of Why Two Aggies have a longhorn flag (it's a mission memento).