Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 Index

In case you were interested in locating the entire ensemble of blogged FHT 2008 details, you can check them out here by instantaneously being transported to the very day of interest, but clicking on the hyper link. I hope you enjoy the chronicle and please post any comments or send a note. Suggest to do a right mouse button click and open in new window and/or tab.

Day 0 - Preambling
Day 1 - Friday, August 22, 2008
Day 2 - Saturday, August 23, 2008
Day 3 - Sunday, August 24, 2008
Day 4 - Monday, August 25, 2008
Day 5 - Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Day 6 - Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Day 7 - Thursday, August 28, 2008
Day 8 - Friday, August 29, 2008
Day 9, 10, 11 - Saturday, August 30 - Monday, September 1, 2008

Family Genealogy Information Links

For all my public image folders, here to search for family specific images. There are photo albums from Johnson, Weber, Foy, Smalley and Wood. They are searchable.

The family genealogy database is located at:
Some starter links, to help in navigation:
- Edgar and Jennie Foy descendants
- Margie Foy Wood ancestors
- Harvey Wood ancestors
- Ellis Sanders ancestors
- Aut and Bell Johnson descendants
- Hazel Johnson Sanders ancestors

more later

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

John and Anna Weber - Germany

My GG grandparents, John and Anna Faber-Weber were both born in Binsfeld, Germany. They arrived in the US in the late 1880's and settled in Nebraska, raising a large family. Their legacy is one of rich details that is being chronicled on our family website.

Here are some direct links for family details and pictures:
John Weber - Biographical or Images
Anna Faber Weber - Biographical or Images

As I learn more about the history of this family line, it is equally important to learn about the area in which our ancestors came from. I have recently become acquainted with a "long lost" cousin of mine, Sharon. She has done extensive research on this side of the family and shared some details about the area where our grandparents came from.

I have included her email and links below so that others can know about this wonderful heritage. DO leave comments if you like to know other details.

Website link with old postcards 1890-1970 from Trier and the river Mosel up to Koblenz (with Bernkastel, Cochem, Winningen, Zeltingen, ...) Trier, Germany

In case any of you genealogists want to keep good track of your sources, this seems to be the website where Werner "borrowed" his information:
Trier history

Further information on Trier and its history can be found in Wikipedia:

Districts in Rheinland-Pfalz

Werner Lichter wrote:
History of the city of Trier
"Having now, my good Mephistophilis, passed with delight the stately town of Trier, environed round with airy mountain-tops, with walls of flint, and deep entrenched lakes, not to be won by any conquering prince; (...) hast thou, as erst I did command, conducted me within the walls of Rome?"

(Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, 1589, vii. 1-22) says the professor who has just landed in the Pope's privy chamber. Faust might have saved himself time and trouble had he alighted in the former city he so eloquently described, Trier, the Roma Secunda, the Second Rome.

Not only is Trier a Roman city, it is also the oldest city in Germany, then a purely civilian city 120 kilometers/80 miles away from the Rhine and the Germanic tribes. It began around a wooden bridge from 18 B.C. at the site of a ford used by the Celtic Treveri and soon occupied the wide valley with an extensive grid pattern of streets on the site of sporadic Celtic settlements. Because it had been founded under Caesar Augustus in the area of the Treveri, it was called Augusta Treverorum and later shortened to Treveri.

Facing the threat of a Germanic invasion, the Romans finally built a city wall around A.D. 180, 6.4 kilometers (4 miles) long, which ultimately had five gates. The remains of the gates at the Amphitheater and the Roman Bridge can still be seen and the Porta Nigra is almost perfectly preserved. The prosperity of Treveri is attested to by the largest gold coin hoard from antiquity found in 1993 (2517 gold coins), but in 275, the city was destroyed by the Germanic Alamanni only to be reborn even more magnificently after 293 as one of the three capitals of the Western Roman Empire alongside York and Milan.

In the 4th century, the city numbered between 60,000 and 80,000 inhabitants, saw six emperors reign from here and, under Constantine the Great (306-316), became an early center for the spread of Christianity north of the Alps.

The Germanic tribal migrations of the fifth century brought destruction at the hands of the Franks, who took over politically after 485 and thus also imported their Germanic language. Treveris, as it was now called, had dwindled down to perhaps 2000 to 3000 inhabitants, but the elevation of the Trier bishop to archbishop in 802 by Charlemagne signaled a new ascent when in 882 the Vikings destroyed Trier.The city never recovered its former splendor, but at least it grew (more than 12,000 inhabitants in the 14th century); it finished its new city wall in 1248 and had in Balduin of Luxembourg (1307-1354) its leading prince elector. Balduin, brother and great-uncle to two Holy Roman emperors, Henry VII and Charles IV, made sure that he and his successors were among the seven prince electors to elect the German kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.

The city itself, however, tried to become more independent of the archbishops, who, in turn, spent more and more time in Coblenz on the Rhine. Trier, as it was now called, played host to several imperial diets. During the one in 1473, the university was founded; during another, the most famous relic of the Cathedral, the Holy Robe, was shown publicly for the first time in 1512.

In 1522, the city wall proved strong enough to withstand a siege by Franz von Sickingen, thus vouchsafing Christopher Marlowe's later assessment, but the Reformation and the subsequent religious quarrels weakened Trier.

The attempt to introduce the Reformation in 1559 failed, and the Reformation-minded weavers, the backbone of the local economy, moved out. In 1580, the Imperial Court ruled in favor of the archbishop/elector, who took possession of Trier again. The return of the electoral administration partly offset the loss of workplaces in manufacturing and wine trading - the climate had worsened, producing a string of bad wine harvests, which in turn led to hundreds of witch trials.

The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and the subsequent French Wars brought Trier, only 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the French border after 1552, an almost continuing series of sieges, occupations, and destructions between 1635 and 1737. In 1697, Trier numbered fewer than 2,700 inhabitants - plus the residents of 29 monasteries. It was its function as a religious center that kept Trier going, and by the middle of the 18th century, eminent architects and artists turned Trier into a place set splendidly with baroque and rococo churches, palaces, and gardens. It was the ecclesiastical splendor that Goethe eloquently described in 1792 on his way to the battles against the French Revolutionary troops. But Goethe saw the change, too - the French won, and by 1794, Trier was taken and later, like the whole area west of the Rhine, incorporated into France. Irreversible changes took place: the university was closed in 1798; the old guilds were abolished; the vestiges of the Electoral State were dissolved in 1802 along with the office of archbishop, an office created by Charlemagne exactly a millennium earlier; French law was introduced along with the metric system; Napoleon was hailed as a visitor in 1804.

After Napoleon's defeat in 1815 at the hands of the British and the Prussians, the latter took over Trier as their westernmost possession, poor and isolated. Here, in 1818, Karl Marx was born when Trier numbered fewer than 10,000 people. Trier received a large garrison and started prospering when, after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, it had, with Alsace and Lorraine, its old hinterland again - by 1900 it numbered 50,000 inhabitants.

The First World War set Trier back again: it was bombed 50 times; it lost all its hinterland again and became a French garrison city (with a young major, Charles de Gaulle). The Second World War seemingly brought the end: 40 percent of the inner city was destroyed and Trier was so poor that little could be rebuilt immediately. That, however, proved to be a boon since enough historical consciousness developed later to repair and rebuild along historical lines so that in spite of the wartime losses, Trier is an architectural showcase with buildings from a rich 2000-year history.

Since 1970 a university city again (with other academic institutions), Trier is an administrative center as well as a shopping center for shoppers from as far as Luxembourg and parts of Belgium and France, a city of 100,000 inhabitants where every building site is an investment in the future as well as an investigation of the past.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sanders Family Links - Maternal and Paternal GG Grandparents

For several years, I have been collecting details on our family and sorting them for reviewing online. I have recently enabled a new feature within Picasaweb that helps id people in the photo albums, so when you move your cursor over the image, it will tell you who they are! Below are several links to these images to help you get there. I have also added their biographical personal links for reference. Any questions, post here under "comments". Enjoy.

Link to see ALL individuals identified - click here

Paternal Great Great Grandparents of Brian Sanders
Henry Sanders - Biographical or Images
Clara Hudson Sanders - Biographical or Images

Eli Joseph Ellis - Biographical or Images
May Hunter Ellis - Biographical or Images

Alfred Wiley Johnson - Biographical or Images
Martha Maloney Johnson - Biographical or Images

James Milner - Biographical or Images
Sarah Stinnett Milner - Biographical or Images

Maternal Great Great Grandparents of Brian Sanders
Charles Heitmann - Biographical
Kate - Biographical

Charles Harvey - Biographical or Images
Elizabeth Harper Harvey - Biographical or Images

Charles Foy - Biographical or Images
Adelia Arnold Foy - Biographical or Images

John Weber - Biographical or Images
Anna Faber Weber - Biographical or Images

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 9, 10, 11

Day 9 (August 30, 2008)
All good things must come to an end, or at least be delayed until the next time. In this case, we had come to Nebraska looking for records on family and were leaving with a ton of data to review for months to come, yet this is likely just a fraction of what is still available to be found. And like the treasure hunter, we will be back for more.

On the 9th day, we had our usual breakfast, checked out of the hotel, and drove westward to Fort Morgan. The plan was to try and stop there and see if we could locate Grandma and Grandpa Smalley graves in Riverside. Brian had called during the week and located information on where they were buried. So after about 5 hours of driving, we arrived in Fort Morgan, Colorado and stopped for a bio break and some foodage... closest fast food was Burger King. A few frys and charbroiled burgers later, we were in the car, driving to the cemetery. There, we were able to quickly find Grandpa Smalley's headstone, but Grandma did not have one, although the caretaker confirmed that she had been laid to rest there.

A few pictures later and out to Denver area to visit with Terry and Linda. We had thought it would be great, while we had time, to visit relatives and this seemed like the best place to stop. It had been years since Brian had seen either Terry or Linda and it was a wonderful reunion. While on the way there, we also asked if we could get John and Donna to join us as well as Rick and Francis.

That night we had a wonderful meal cooked by Terry and Linda, then retired late.

Day 10 (August 31, 2008)
Morning approached too quick and a cup of home brewed java, some sunshine, and the rest of the family was awake. We talked of the family and shared pictures of loved ones and their families. We tried to review most of the 2000+ pictures which had been taken by Steve and Brian along the last 9 days, but it was a lot of data to even look at in its raw form, much less make sense of most of it. Either way, Mom did a great job at reporting on all the stops and the family discoveries.

Mid-morning came and we had the whole gang in tow... Donna, John, Rick, Francis, Terry, Linda, Mom, Dad, and Brian. We headed to Johnson's corner for some lunch... It was good to see all my family in the same spot, catching up on the news, talking about politics, the economy, and business. Rick and Francis had to leave right after lunch for a prior commitment, so the remainder of the pack retreated back to Linda and Terry's for some further conversation.

Parting is such sweet sorrow and it was at that... John and Donna returned home and the day turned to night. It was a wonderful time spent with the family and the memories will last for a long time. It was getting late, so we turned in for the night as the next day would soon be here.

Day 11 (Sept 1, 2008)
Brian had to be at the Airport by 10am, to catch his flight back to Arizona, so we had a quick breakfast, too short of a good bye, and were off to the airport - Mom, Dad and Brian. We said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch. Little did Brian realize that the results of this trip would require an extensive amount of effort to decompress and turn into tangible results, but the effort is worth it.

Each day we learn about ourselves and others through the very interactions within our environment. We move forward in time focused on the next task or milestone ahead. It is always important to stop and reflect on how you got to where you are and most importantly to consider your ancestors who helped you get there!

Until the next trip, thanks for joining.

The END.

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 8

Day 8 (August 29, 2008)
The day dawned new and breakfast was calling again at the local hotel eatery. After a sumptuous meal, Dad and Brian went to the Hastings Library for a quick re check on some of the records, adding in some of the Arnold clan now. We spent about 2-3 plus hours. This second trip to the library allowed more detailed pictures of Gordon, Foy, Weber and Arnold clans to be clearer. There is more data there, just need to plan for it the next trip. As usual, Dad was snapping pictures, doing a great job.

As is common in the Sanders family (especially for Brian), sometimes we find interesting clues that peak the curiosity and before you know it, we are off looking at other details that are not related to the original goal. On more than one occasion, it was important to remind the "research team" to keep focused on the task at hand - in other words, collect the data on the family, move onto the next item, repeat. This was true EVEN if it meant having to pass up on the connection of declining blacksmiths and increasing "automobile" businesses at the turn of the century or the occasional Sanders name popping up in the reference docs.

As it was nearing lunch, we decided to splurge a bit more than usual, plus it was also Dad's birthday. So, we packed up the goods, drove to the hotel, picked up mom and went to Taco Bell - Dad's choice! Happy Birthday Dad!

After the filling meal, Mom was returned to the hotel and Brian and Dad returned back to the Historical society. The Adams county Historical Society is a wonderful location full of detailed records that rival and exceed the likes of the Nebraska Historical Society, hands down and on a fraction of the budget.

Brian and Dad located new records, maps and even wedding certificates of in-laws that helped connect to the Arnold family. This was also the key link for identifying the maiden name for Adelia Arnold's mother. Now Brian could trace that line back further - in fact, later on Brian traced the Arnold line back to the middle ages, farther back than any other line in his family.

From here we picked up mom and headed out to Assumption, Holstein, and through Hastings, this time armed with more details on exact addresses, legal descriptions from the court house, the Hastings directories at the library, and stories from the Weber family.

We ended late and stopped at the Little Jakes restaurant in Hastings, as the sun was setting. A good meal with a few drinks and back to the hotel for a long respite.

See day 9... it starts to near the end...

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 7

Day 7 (August 28, 2008)

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Day 7 we embarked on a "short" 100+ mile road trip to the big city of Lincoln Nebraska. Here we expected to locate the state Historical society, rummage around some old records, and visit the state vital records office for death/birth certificates.

After a quick breakfast, we all piled into the car and made a dash for Lincoln. It took about 2 hours and arriving around 10:30am. We found a parking spot near the historical society at settled in. The area was on the campus university grounds and it was full of people walking to and from classes. Mom opted to stay in the car whilst Dad and Brian went in for some serious researching.

The building was large and full of records. An amazing site. The entrance had a 100' long index card system along the wall as you entered in addition to a security guard/information officer. This was where we started looking. After a short time with the Webers' and Foy's, we found several good leads and took plenty of pictures. Unfortunately, not all of the information was related to us, but still good reference materials. By the time we had finished, we headed into the main area and were required to lock up any bags, etc... good policy, but inconvenient all the same. There was a charge to visit and just as we were starting, they informed us that the society was going to close for lunch, and everyone was required to leave the building.

This was in the best of interests, but again, very inconvenient. We left and went back to the car to collect Mom. She was having fun watching the activities of the college students walking buy and preparing a party at a frat house. We were told there was a food eatery location on campus within walking distance and that we could head north just a few buildings for sustenance.

We located the building in short order and were amazed that half the population of Lincoln Nebraska had too. Waiting in line for a good 15 mins at a "Runza", it went fast, as we talked about the information we had collected and how things were going so far.

After lunch, Mom returned to her car for relaxing and Dad and Brian went into the records room once again. Our search through the newspapers and books was limited at best to some key findings on Charles Foy's property ownership found on micro-fiche and some obituaries. We spent roughly 2.5 hours and left before they closed in order to make it to the state Vital records, a few miles away in Lincoln.

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We drove to the Vital records and as this would take some time, dropped off Brian while Dad and Mom stayed in the car (drove around). Brian was fortunate to locate birth and death certificates for Foy's and Weber's, which is amazing when you think about how far across time and distance much of the information has traveled.

We ate dinner in Lincoln and then headed off back to Hastings for a good nights rest.

See day 8 for what happened next!

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 6

Day 6 (August 27, 2008)

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Day 6 dawned and breakfast at the hotel called later that morning. Coffee, juice, and sugared flour (AKA a danish) was the staple for Brian - Dad and Mom had the healthier food (cereal).

After the nutritious breakfast, Dad and Brian left in the car with a plan to meet up with Mom for lunch. We timed the departure for a 9:00am stop at the court house for a quick 1 hour refined data collection and then it was off the Hastings Public library. While at the library, Dad and Brian located in a quick minute (with help), the Hastings "directories" from the late 1800s through early 1930's. This was (is) a treasure trove of information as it details the Foy/Gordon/Weber home addresses AND their business addresses in the Hastings and surrounding areas, year after year! Now it was possible to chronicle the journey better than ever before from beginning to end in Nebraska. We only spent about 1 hour and with a summary of addresses written down while taking pictures, this enabled us to make the next wonderful step - locating these homes and business.

So, after looking through most of the directories, Dad and Brian started tracking down the locations in Hastings, taking pictures of the homes and business's. After about 30 minutes we had id'ed most of them (if not all). Some of the addresses were not lining up so we figured that there was an address change in the past, but most of the homes still stood as they did nearly 100 years ago!

We drove over to the hotel, picked up Mom and then off to Bernardos Steak House for lunch. We talked about the recent discoveries and in fact stopped by a few of them on our way to the restaurant. Meal was reasonable and afterwords returned to the hotel to drop off Mom.

Next stop was the Adams County Historical society. Brian was like a kid in a candy shop. We started going through many of the basic records - Brian collected court records on the Gordon/Foy family who lived in Hastings, while Dad located some of the obituaries.

While talking about the families we were researching, Brian asked about the Weber photo studio we had seen in town earlier. Katherine Renschler, the Historical Societies president, told us about the owner and the recent donations he had made to the society regarding photographs of farms in the area. Katherine gave the name and phone number for us to contact.

Brian signed up to be a member of the Adams County Historical society and donated a few extra dollars, before heading out the door with riches unimaginable.

A quick call to the Weber family provided by Katherine and we were off to a short visit with them (sans Mom). It turns out that this was a cousin and knew many of the Foy family, especially Aunt Verona McKenzie, Uncle Phil Foy, and Grandma and Grandpa Foy. We were very blessed to see them, exchanged names, phone numbers, emails, stories and other relevant information. It was during this short encounter that we also found about about Uncle Phil's pool hall in Holstein, and that it was still standing... slightly modified by later owners. In addition, another cousin was doing family research on the Weber descendants and there was a hard copy available for loan to us. We would make a copy in town over the next few days and then return it before we left.

We said our goodbyes, then collected Mom. We attempted to contact the Nicki and Jim Konen via phone, but were not successful so we did not stop by (on account it might be imposing). We would likely have another chance later. We then went to Taylors Steak house for dinner. A nice evening with the family and we returned back to the hotel. With the information collected between the Library, the Court house, and Historical Society, the picture of the family was becoming very clear. Brian stayed up later that night and compiled most of the pictures/information into an excel spreadsheet on the family addresses, to help make sense of all the data.

The plan for day 7 was to travel another 100+ miles east to Lincoln and see if we could locate any further details at the Nebraska State Historical society, which also would work for Frontier and Adams county.

See day 7 for the continuing adventure...

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 5

Day 5 (August 26 2008)

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Morning was early and we moseyed over to the hotel feeding center... they had rolls, juices, coffee, fruits and cereal. Mom, Dad and Brian ate their fill and then Dad and Brian left to the court house. Mom was going to stay back and hold down the fort. We would connect back up later...

We get to the court house all ready to go when we found we were early by about 30 minutes. So, instead of hanging out, we got back into the car and drove back to a cemetery we saw along the route, known as Pioneer Cemetery. We both looked around and found nothing of any family connection, but since it was a nice cool morning and an open field with grass, it was a nice walk. As 9:00 am approached, we got back into the car and drove back to the court house. Here we were told to go back to the big building across the street which housed all the records (and the parking lot we were already at previously).

So began the long journey into the records of Adams county. About 3 hours into the research, much was being discovered... maps, plat maps, deeds, and more. Lunch time came and dad went on to meet mom. Brian requested to bring back some food and was delighted to get one of his favorites - Subway submarine sandwich. Of course, since this was a record room, and they were making us wear white gloves (which is normal and good), Brian was very careful and particular about eating and leaving NO traces. Another good thing about the court house was the fact that they had instituted some laminating of the papers AND did not allow a flash to be used. Fortunately, Brian's camera was able to use the ambient light to take great shots! 2 images were taken of every record, just to be sure they were legible.

Another 2 more hours after "lunch" and it was time to call it a day in the "court". A lot of data was uncovered on the WEBER, FABER, and FOY family records. Much more can (and will hopefully some day) be discovered. It was very exciting to finally match some real 1st source records to the family great grandparents.

Now as an added bonus, we were heading over to meet a "cousin" on the Konen side. We stopped in to visit Norma Konen, whom Brian had contacted prior to the trip to meet. This was the best time for her as she worked in the mornings and we were very happy to see her. We also had the pleasure of staying and looking at some of her pictures from the Konen/Weber AND Foy side - many we had never seen before. The stay was too short and we wished Norma well before we moved onto the next stop. It is certain that the next trip to Hastings will be one in which we spend a lunch or dinner with Norma and other family members.

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We headed southwest to Assumption and Roseland to look at the Weber/Foy past home locations. Grandpa John and Grandma Anna Weber had secured a homestead, which we now knew from the county records earlier that day, and had also lived in a small home in Assumption, at which point we were able to identify exactly, according to the legal description. Accompanying us were also many pictures that we were able to match up to the old home. As was becoming the rule, it seemed that any home in the past 90 years that had an open patio, it was soon boarded up for additional living (inside) space. So, although it was not the exact replica as the pictures of old, it was VERY easy to tell it was the original home.

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It was also great to see where Grandpa Edgar and Grandma Jenny Foy had lived for a short time in Roseland, which was where Aunt Verona and Pauline were raised for a short time. This is also the place where Grandpa Foy owned a bar and later had to give it up after getting Typhoid fever. It was these events in 1907 that eventually led them to depart Nebraska heading west to Colorado, where they would make their homestead on 160 acres.

As it was getting late, we decided to eat in Roseland at the Reggie Betty Bar G. Good food and a few beers later, we headed out to the next stop, further south and east of Roseland. We knew that the Foy's lived in the Eversman home for a short time, but were not certain where this was located (if it was in Roseland or elsewhere). Using the plat map which showed the Eversman homestead, we headed out there and found a home to take pictures of.. not certain this was the exact home, but it is likely the property that was connected to the same family the Foy's leased from.

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From here we went onward to the Charles and Adelia Foy homestead, located in Little Blue township, Adams County. A remarkable site and with the records from the court house, it was helpful to know the exact boundaries and time line for when they lived here. It was also here that Adelia died in childbirth on 18 Aug 1890. One key mission of this trip was to locate where she was buried. Up until now, the exact location of the homestead was not certain as there is Blue Hill and a Little Blue, which has been interchanged several times before in the family records to which it is unclear which belonged to what. So, Brian knew that the cemetery could be located within a narrow radius of this homestead, which eliminated many of the cemetery candidates.

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As the day was growing late, we headed to the closest cemetery, and then the next and finally to the last one, located in Blue Hill. Here is where we found Adelia Arnold Foy and her parents and other kin, laid to rest. There is a longer story about this amazing find located within this blog, if you would like to read about it... Adelia Foy Short Story.

As the night was fast approaching, we headed back to the Comfort Inn in Hastings and the closure to a spectacular day of research and discovery. It would be difficult to surpass the magnitude of the key finds of this day, but that would soon be determined. To bed we went...

See day 6 for further discoveries!

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 4

Day 4 (August 25 2008):

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Early to rise, early to surprise... we woke up "late" and decided to try out the local cuisine. Mary Jo's was the preferred and recommended local feeding stop, so Dad and Brian headed over there. Mom was going to get ready and skip breakfast (the most important meal of the day).

The main focus for today was to locate the Wood and Smalley family lines. We were going to start with the local county Historical Society. Brian had planned to meet up with Marciel Milton, the Treasurer at the Frontier County Historical Society after breakfast and go through all the available records. Marciel currently resided in Curtis, but actually was born in the area of Stockville, Nebraska Frontier county. She was very helpful and we collected numerous items. Brian also signed up to be a member of the Historical Society. As you may know, these societies really are important to the community and invaluable for persons researching their family... it is always a good idea to provide any monetary support as they operate on donations and volunteer support.

After researching at the historical society, we drove the 30+ minutes south toward the capital of Frontier county - Stockville. We visited the court house and researched many of the deeds and records, finding little information relevant to direct family... although we did find details on the Wood family. This along with the stop at the Historical society turned up some good connective details on the Smalley/Harper/Wood side, but nothing that could be singularly identified for direct family (yet). Further research would be needed.

After this we headed over to Arbor Cemetery where many of the Wood family members had been laid to rest. In addition, we found Grandpa Shriver in a larger burial plot. Many pictures were taken and should be followed up with local records.

Then we made a short trip NE of Stockville to where Grandma Mabel Smalley's school was. This area was an open field with not noticeable remnants of the school. It had long ago returned to the earth and/or been removed. Still it was wonderful to see the place that she taught in the early 1910's. This is also where Grandpa Wood and Uncle Wayne may have gone to grade school.

What is certain, based on census records is that this is where Grandma Smalley met Charles Wood and marriage soon followed. Charles Wood lived "next door" to the Grandma and Grandpa Shriver (Mabel's mother and stepfather). And this is where Grandpa Wood spent the greater part of his young life growing up.

We were getting hungry at this point and drove back up into Curtis for a meal at the Ag Valley Coop. Good pizza and cold soft drink, gave us back some energy for continuing the research further down the road... We stopped by the Curtis library for a quick look at whatever records they may have and found a few books, but nothing much further and it was at that point that we decided to execute the plan B... fast track east that afternoon, rather than wait until the next day.

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So, we bundled up and headed out east. By 5:30pm that night, we were in North Platte and decided to stop and have some dinner at a regular chain restaurant. From here we made great time into Assumption Cemetery, Adams county, Nebraska for our first visit with several of the Weber/Faber/Konen relatives. The church and cemetery was beautiful and fortunately we had plenty of sun to capture some nice pics of headstones.

From here we headed on into town to stay at the Comfort Inn in Hastings, Nebraska. After that long day, which was nearly 200 miles traveled, we hit the sack early with bigger plans expected tomorrow.

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See day 5 for the continuing saga.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 3

Day 3 (August 24 2008):

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Next day dawned and we were all off to breakfast to one of my favorite feeding places in Sterling - the J&L restaurant. Everyone who is anyone comes here for the excellent service, ample helpings, and wonderful flavorings. Tammy and Dad got the pancakes, Larry got some health food, Mom got the special, and I got the breakfast burrito (semi-healthy version). My plate was overflowing with spicy delights and of course my eyes were bigger than my stomach, but it was too good to pass.. soon it was gone. One of the best burritos in the USA.

The conversation was about the past (friends, family, things that happened, etc) and the present. We were all family, sharing the moment, which is all too few and far between, but it was good all the same.

We finished breakfast, said goodbye to Larry and Tammy, and headed out to the Foy homestead, north of Iliff. The goal was to survey the foundations and area to see if it was possible to reconstruct the original locations of the home, barn and other improvements. I had dragged along the metal detector just for this, along with a tape measure, and a shovel for any shallow digging that may be needed.

Original plan was to see the homestead before lunch then drive out have lunch with our cousin Bob McKenzie, who has a ranch just north of the Foy homestead. However, I called Bob and told him we were in the area just heading over to the Foy homestead. I asked him if he would like to join us and he said SURE... so we drove out to get him and in the process added 2 more people to the adventure - Bob and Laurie, his daughter. Bob even drove us back over to the homestead and we proceeded to "investigate" the area.

It was wonderful seeing the homestead again. This time the area was grown over a lot more with grass and weeds, which made it more difficult to locate foundations or previous markers. I took pictures, compass readings, physical measurements and actually did a little digging, but only to locate edges of the concrete foundation. Dad took the metal detector and headed "down the hill" in search of treasure. A previous visit yielded more metal since it was easier to see - to the south east we found fence wire, similar to what was used for chickens and a fence post/gate. To the east of the well, we found a few metal objects and even a red brick, which was possibly from the chimney.

All in all, a productive visit. We piled back into Bob's truck and meandered north to Peetz, but on the way, we stopped to see the windmills - giant electric wind generators that are producing energy for the area. After this, we headed to downtown Peetz. Went by the church that Pete and Verona were married in... Bob said that his sister Helen had a painting that was still hanging in the church. We didn't stop as it was Sunday and mass was in session. After a bit of reminiscing, Bob mentioned that he knew of another place that Edgar and Jennie had lived, which was not too far east. We drove out there and the building was still in use, but the porch area had been converted into a whole part of the house. This seems to have been a common theme I found along the way. Comparing the old pictures of this house to the present was fun (see images in my photo library).

Bob mentioned that he also knew roughly where the Poverty hill house was located and he explained where we could find it, as we would be heading east through that area and it would be easy to find. He also mentioned that if we were to go through Ogalala, Nebraska, that we should look up a Dr. Foy whom he met at a wedding recently. Turns out that this Dr. Foy had a father name Phil Foy... so how could that be? Note: later on, I was able to find Dr. Foy, a vet, and talked with him. Short story is that we are not related, but that is another story.

We returned back to the McKenzie farm and proceeded to take pictures of Verona nad Pete McKenzie photo albums. It was a treasure trove of images. Afterward, we enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by Laurie. Sitting outside of the old farm home, we talked about the past and present - a wonderful time, but all too short. We finished up, said our goodbyes and headed on out toward Ovid, in search of the Smalley home on 6th street.

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Every time we have gone through Ovid, mom has told stories of who lived in which house, and how they were related, like it was yesterday. But unfortunately, I have not been able to record these stories (yet), but hopefully next chance we can do this. Certainly a video would go a long way...

After this, we proceeded onward to Curtis Nebraska. As it was getting late, we decided to stop in North Platte, Nebraska for Dinner at Applebees. Food was fairly good and was enough to tie us over. We jumped back into the car and proceeded onto our hotel in Curtis - the Hi Line hotel.

This hotel was rated a 3 star and it was ok, but lodging accommodations was always minimum for us... we were after all not living there, just sleeping.

See day 4 for more of what happened.

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 2

Day 2(August 23, 2008):

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Early morning risers get the worm. Fortunately, someone got there before me and I was left with more traditional foodage. The typical Sanders' reused coffee grounds were thrown out in honor of the eldest sons visit and a whole fresh batch of "new" grounds scented the early mountain fresh air. It is a well known fact that the coffee beans keep better if not used, ergo the reason why they are so infrequently ground and used!

So with suitcases, equipment, food, snacks and fresh coffee in hand, we set off eastward toward the rising sun. Pictures were taken along the way to ensure we knew we were there, but some have been left out of the record to protect the shy.

After a short while (2.5 hours) we arrived in Fort Morgan. This stop was meant to locate grandpa Jake and grandma Mabel Smalley in the Fort Morgan cemetery. We were not able to find them, even after looking for nearly 45 minutes. I figured we could come back on the return and at that time, we would have a chance to locate the exact gravesite.

So, we got back into the car, meandered further east and north, toward Sterling. Prior to getting into Sterling, I had called the Riverside Cemetery to see if they were open. As it was a Saturday, it was likely that there was not going to be anyone there, but to my surprise, I got a hold of a person (the owner) and they said if we came over right away, we could catch them before they left. Luck was on our side, so we hustled over to the Riverside Cemetery, which was only 5 minutes away from where we were and stopped to talk with the attendants. As usual, we were able to get the information on locations of family in the cemetery, which was VERY helpful as this is a very large cemetery. It would have been near impossible to find some of the family interred if we had not been able to talk with the attendants of the cemetery. As usual, Dad was very helpful and in the process of looking up the names, we found out that one of the persons was a daughter of someone that Dad went to school with (small world). After this quick stop, we had maps and details of where to go, so we went onward to see Grandma at the home.

Grandma looked good and it was a pleasure to see her in good spirits at 87 years young. We visited for a while in her room, then went to a side area to talk and eat her favorite Taco John's food. Following the delicious "Taco John lunch", we took some pictures, said our goodbyes, and headed out to the Sunset Memorial Cemetery, where we paid our respects to Yahns.

From here we went back south into town to see if we could meet Dad's half sister, Becky. We didn't have any luck in meeting her, as no one was home. So we moved onto the next location, back to the Riverside Cemetery.

At Riverside, we paid our respects to the McKenzie's, Yahn's, Wood's, Kidwell's, Sanders', Cheairs, Giacommini and others. Several pictures later, we were off to visit with Larry and Tammy. The olympics, family, reunions, fish and ponds predominated the conversation. The house and back yard looked wonderful (as usual) and the wildlife seemed to be everywhere - toads, birds, crichets and more. Some drinks, appetizers, and an excellent Dinner completed the night and we all turned in for bed. For those of you who still speak "old Missourian, midwest english", Dinner (not Supper) is the proper name for the last meal of the day, which occurs in the evening, around 4-7pm. This is a much debated subject at tables around the world.

See Day 3...

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Day 1

Day 1 (August 22, 2008)

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The trip started with a 800+ mile plane ride from Phoenix to Denver International. Folks met and picked me up around noon:30 and we were off to our first destination - cemeteries in Denver, Colorado. We found everyone we were looking for, with help from the local staff (these are large cemeteries covering acres and acres), said a few prayers, took a few pictures, then ventured onward. It was great to stop and pay our respects.

Our next stop was Brent and Tracy's home about an hour away. Some important tools that I hauled along on this trip was a metal detector and compass. When we arrived the kids were out playing and excited to see grandma, grandpa and uncle Brian. We hugged and started to pull out some items from the car. I couldn't help pulling out the metal detector for the kids, even though it might cause some headaches later. If you have never used a metal detector before, basically they emit a loud obnoxious noise when the detector moves over a metal item. They are really cool tools and necessary to have when you want to find something underground.

My nephew was the first to try it out... after a quick explanation of what it was and how to use it. He promised not to take it outside of the yard and would "be careful" with it. Before long, he was checking out everything... the ground, the walls, the chairs, hair on the dog, the grass, trees, people, etc. Inside the house, it was becoming a bit of a nusaince since the dog didn't like it, and consequently the dog kept barking. After about 10 minutes (may have been longer), the detector and users were banned to the "outside", somewhere in the nether areas of the porch. It wasn't long before the metal detector was discarded for the next activity and left to be found at a future dig site!

Our family went into "catch up" mode with details about work, life, kids, the HOA, the food, and more. It was quite a whirlwind as we had a number of things to celebrate - Dad's birthday, Brad's "moving" and the all too rare event of having all the boys in the same space with ma/pa.

It was a delight to see the younger bipedals of our clan. The enchanting Miss rumbling stream and the taller than a spruce tree, Mr. B, kept going and going and soon tired me out just watching them. I was educated on how to use the drums so that we could sing some AC/DC songs. Tracy sang the lyrics and the kids did the rest with the guitar. I think the game was rigged as I couldn't keep a beat to save my life!

I seem to recall a quadraped like creature that was part canine and mostly rodent that tried to bite me. Not sure what it was but they called it their pet, even though it was about shoe size.

The evening was choreographed and managed by the graceful and wonderful Tracy, with her assistant/chef, Brent. Food was plenty (and good), drink was cold (and good), and altogether the time was great (but short). Pictures were taken to commemorate the time.

A side trip to Boulder with Brad and a trip up the mountain to sleep, was the end of "day 1". The morning was going to be up soon, so sleep was a welcome event.

See Day 2 for more adventures.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sanders Family History Trip - 2008 - Pre-ambling

I have added a number of blogs, recently, to chronicle my recent Family History Trip I took in August of 2008. The trip was from Arizona through Colorado and Nebraska with the goal of finding my family roots, specifically on my mothers side.

Plans were drawn up and this time, I tried to be very detailed, allowing for limited flexibility and marginality. The trip was planed to be a 9 day adventure into the plains of Colorado and Nebraska, searching in dusty back rooms for old legal land descriptions and driving across country to places my relatives lived over 130+ years ago.

I used a nice tool to chronicle the trip stops and have embedded the links here googlemaps. Each blue tack is a significant place that we stopped and is also an active link in and of itself.

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Pre trip readiness/Background/Preview
As has been the case in past trips, this was packed full of items that would need 20 days to complete and as typical, the days preceding the trip were also a bit challenging with a business trip to Taiwan the week before. Therefore, much of the preparation was limited to what was done a month earlier.

I expected that this would be a fun trip entangled with details and more details of what/where to go, but due to the schedule prior to departing, I didn't get a chance to print out all my detailed documents, in their usual organized format, of WHAT we needed to do... so I went "old school" and used a "pen and paper" (very messy technology and hard to erase). I managed to jot down my KEY OBJECTIVES of the trip and in enough detail as to understand them all. This ancient technology was a valuable aid, and thus allowed me to focus on another important task - navigating with your retired parents! This type of stuff is actually the FUN part of genealogy research, but it gets a bit monotonous. Find location, read hundreds of mostly dry and old records, document what you found, and go to the next location, and repeat a few hundred times.

I have managed to come up with a fairly efficient process where the data is collected quick and easily, then cataloged, organized, declassified, and eventually summarized, AFTER the event. The method is to take lots of pictures with a digital camera. This can be amazingly fast and effective, especially when you don't have a copy machine OR the books are too large to make copies, OR as I found in one stop this trip, they won't let you make copies due to the effect of the light and interaction with ink.

In this trip alone, Dad and I collectively took nearly 2500 high res jpeg pictures, recorded 5 mpeg videos, and 14 digital audio recordings. The total digital information storage space was over 3.6 gigabytes!

To see how this trip went, be sure to read the next blog - DAY 1.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family History Trip 2008 - Adelia Foy Short Story

In August 2008, I departed Phoenix Arizona on another adventure to locate my family roots. This trip was planned to be a 9 day journey across the plains of Colorado and Nebraska, searching for details of my maternal lineage, namely the Weber, Foy, Wood, Faber, and others. Of course, the trip would not be complete without my trusted companions and knowledgeable experts of the past (ie. my parents), so we met at the Denver airport for the start of a 1500 mile road trip.

The trip was broken up into 3 major stops - 1st around Sterling, Colorado, the 2nd in Curtis, Nebraska and the 3rd in Hastings, Nebraska. From these 3 locations it was possible to get close to the heart of key information sources - county court house, library, historical societies, cemeteries, previous homes and business locations, plus restaurants, hotels, and family!

More details will be plied about this trip in a later writing, but there was one story I wanted to capture as it relates to a combination of factors that has aided me in the past. Call it coincidence, luck, or just plain stubbornness, the fact remains that locating family details is a lot like a detective story - clues lead you along a path and hopefully you "solve" the mystery. In this case, I wanted to find my maternal Great Great grandmothers burial location and any other details (ie. my mothers, mothers, fathers, mother) - Adelia (Arnold) Foy.

Since 1975, Grandma Adelia (Arnold) Foy has been a bit of an enigma. I have had limited information and even less success in locating details on her. In fact, attempts in the last 2-5 years have led to a number of possible clues, via the internet ( etc), but all of the leads have ended up being inconclusive. This was one reason why a trip to Hastings Nebraska to find Grandma Adelia Foy was so important.

One crucial source of information in searching for family history is a cemetery. Not everyone is comfortable in doing this, but with some practice, you find it very rewarding connecting with your relatives and paying your respects to those who came before you. What our families endured in their lives can't be summed up in a headstone with dates, but knowing that they were on this planet adds validity to our research and most importantly, a chance to honor their memories. We knew where grandma Adelia Foy and family homesteaded and based on experience, we could assume she could be buried within a radius of 15 miles. When a survey of cemeteries was computed (from the internet), there were over a dozen in this radius, but 4 looked very promising. It was still going to be a bit of luck to locate the cemetery.

A compounding effect of history is that it blur's names. In the 1800's, farmers did not have a "street address". In fact, depending on the size of the town, if you lived in the "town limits", you likely did not have a house OR a street address. Anypost would be addressed to the person and the town (ie. Bert Smith Hastings, Nebraska). Additionally, people defined their residence based on the township (ref #2) and county, relative to a city post office. For grandma Adelia and grandpa Charles Foy, their homestead was in Little Blue township, Adams county, Nebraska, roughly 3-5 miles southwest of Pauline. The name Little Blue comes from the river that passes through Adams County. However, there is also a town called Blue Hill just across the county border in Webster County, about 15 miles away. Blue Hill town and Little Blue township have been "blurred" in my database so it is unclear which was which.

As we departed Hastings, heading south to find grandma and grandpa Foy's homestead in Little Blue township, we stopped along the way at 2 of the 4 potential cemeteries, looking for Grandma Adelia Foy. We were able to eliminate the first as it was a Mennonite cemetery and the 2nd as it had an index - Foy's were known to be Catholic. The next cemetery location was the furtherest away, located in Blue Hill (town) - this is in a different county (Webster), furthest from Hastings, and as the sun was setting, we quickly realized this cemetery would be the last stop of the day and would be a quick search.

Most cemeteries are small, have limited information about the decedent burial locations and the older they are, the less information is available. As we drove into the cemetery, it was big enough that the 3 of us could search on foot, but it would take about 1+ hour, which would put it past sundown. It so happened that there was a cemetery index, sorted by alphabet and locationally ided - this was a great find. We quickly looked up the surname Foy, but found nothing. A quick search for Arnold resulted in a few names, but nothing triggered anything. There were many other cemeteries we needed to investigate, and this was just the 3rd one so far, so we started back to the car, ready to return to Hastings and call it a day. Mom and dad were already in the car and I meandered over to look at a few headstones. Interestingly, I happened to find a surname that was related to my maternal line (Harper). I remember thinking, I should look at the Arnold headstones, just for potential help in the future, so I went back to the index/map and looked up Arnold again. This time I noticed an Adelia Arnold and told mom and dad that I would like to look at the Arnold site and I may have found Adelia. They got out of the car and together we looked at the map to find where she was at. We drove over to where the map showed us, but to our dismay, there were many broken and illegable headstones - perhaps they were buried here?? The sun was going down and we thought this was the best we could do, but we were eager to expand our search area a little bit more south. Still nothing! We started to head back to the car, when I thought I would head east of this location and within 50 yards, I discovered an Arnold, then another and then there she was - Adelia Arnold Foy.

So after nearly passing up this cemetery, we found her, but without a few hurdles - her listing surname was wrong, the map location was wrong, and the light was nearly gone, but yet with a bit of persistence (AND LUCK), we managed to find grandma Adelia Foy. The wonderful part of this find was that she was also buried in family plot, along with her parents - Oscar and Maria Arnold.

The sad story of her death was common in these times of hardship. In 1890, the banks had foreclosed on all their property, there was a serious drought and many people were losing their shirts. They had nothing and then within 4 monhts, Adelia gave birth and both died. Later, I discovered that the Arnold family had homesteaded south of Blue Hill town, in Elm Creek township, Webster county, Nebraska, so this was a central location for the Arnold's and Foy's. Oscar Arnold passed away in 1888 and Maria Arnold, Adelias mother was still alive.

It was very rewarding finding my Great Great grandmother Adelia Foy as well as my Great Great Great grandparents Oscar and Maria Arnold. Future trips will be made to honor these people and my hope is that I will continue to have the opportunities to share the memories.

Until next time.

Blue Hill Cemetery

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sanders Genealogy Status update - July 2008

We now have 1104 families, adding another 104 since Jun 1. In addition, we have 3368 individuals in the family name database. See table below for more details.

Here are the stat:
Last Import
1-Jun-08 22-Jul-08 Delta
Average Lifespan 64 years 63 years
Earliest Birth ( Morrill) Abt 1565 ( Morrill) Abt 1565
Total Documents NA 186
Total Families 1000 1104 104
Total Females NA 1553
Total Headstones NA 22
Total Histories 5 8 3
Total Individuals 3087 3368 281
Total Living 78 496 418
Total Males NA 1706
Total Photos 10 124 114
Total Recordings 0 0
Total Sources 273 368 95
Total Unique Surnames 600 669 69
Total Unknown Gender NA 109
Total Videos 0 0

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Photos, Vital records uploaded for view

In the last week, I have been busy sorting, organizing, and uploading much of my genealogical reference materials - in total I now have 315 items. This only represents less than 20% of total still remaining to upload, so I have a way to go.

To give an idea of what has been uploaded, you can check out my website, located at

Photos - 125 in total

Documents - 157 in total
- 38 Funeral Logs
- 23 Marriage Certificates
- 59 Death Certificates
- 6 Funeral Cards
- 5 Land Patents
- Miscellaneous letters, census links, autobiographies, etc

Cemeteries - 24 in total

Histories - 9 in total

More to be uploaded later. If you are interested in something specific, be sure to let me know... I might have it.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cemeteries, Headstones, TNG integrated

As of 6/10/2008, all cemetery headstone images are now uploaded onto Picasaweb AND each person is linked through the TNG database, allowing quick reference to hires headstone images, should you so desire.

In total, I have 24 cemeteries in 5 states, 13 counties, and each is mapped with the Google app making it even EASIER to find them.

To get started, go to this link...

Be sure to leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Upgraded to TNG 6.2.0

As you can see, I have upgraded from 6.1 to 6.2 on the TNG software. The changes and enhancements are most powerful. For further details on TNG, please go to

I strongly recommend this software for others considering or currently doing online publishing of genealogy research. It is by far the best I have seen.

Records, Records, Records

I have been a member of for nearly 2 years and in that time I have been collecting and downloading the Federal and State census records for reference in our family genealogy. I have posted those individual records that pertain to our family on my digital library, located at

You will find the census records located under family surnames. For example, if you are looking for a surname of Johnson, you can locate our Johnson family relatives under the "Records - Census - Johnson" album. These files are high resolution images that allow you to peer into the past and see your ancestors from as far back as the 1790s (in some cases).

As of June 4 2008, the list of census documents if nearly 375. The list is shown at the bottom.

Each census image is stored as a filename that includes the year, family name, head of household, and location. Unfortunately, the filename is not searchable (in picasaweb) at this time, so you need to do the following.

Go to the surname folder and select the first image.
At the right, you will see some photo information, example
  • Photo 1 of 6
  • Records - Census - Shriver
  • Jun 3, 2008
  • 1525×1600 pixels – 769KB

Select the link "more info" and you should get further details on the image, including the filename and other details about the image. Now you can scroll through the images and find the "family head of household" you are looking for.

  • Photo 1 of 6
  • Records - Census - Shriver
  • Jun 3, 2008
  • 1525×1600 pixels – 769KB
  • Filename: 1900_shriverjohn_kansas_atchison_benton_district12.jpg
  • Camera: n/a
  • Model: n/a
  • ISO: n/a
  • Exposure: n/a
  • Aperture: n/a
  • Focal Length: n/a
  • Flash Used: n/a
  • Latitude: n/a
  • Longitude: n/a

In case you find yourself overwhelmed by this task, send me an email of who you are looking for and I can point you in the right direction (assuming I have it).


Surname # of Census Records
Adams 4
Bohr 1
Buchanan 4
Ellis 9
Foy 127
Harper 10
Harvey 1
Heitman 12
Johnson 54
Konen 8
Leabo 3
Maloney 32
McGinley 2
McKenzie 4
McKibben 13
Milner 23
Sanders 13
Seyler 2
Shriver 6
Stinnett 1
Strauss 2
Streff 6
Todd 1
Vencill 3
Weber 25
Wood 7
Yahn 2
Total 375

Sanders Genealogy Project Update - May 2008

We now have 1000 families, 3087 individuals in the family name database. I know that might sound like a lot of names/families, but I have seen other genealogy database that have over 10,000 names.

Here are the stat:
Total Individuals: 3087
Total Living: 78
Total Families: 1000
Total Unique Surnames: 600
Total Sources: 273
Average Lifespan1 64 years, 149 days
Earliest Birth ( Morrill) Abt 1565
Date of Last GEDCOM Import 01 Jun 2008