Week 15. Sports. Did you have a favorite sports team as a child? If so, which one and why. Did your parents follow the same teams? Do you still support the same teams?

I wasn’t really big into watching sports when I was a kid.  My dad liked to watch football (and still does) so it was often on TV.  We rooted for Seattle SeaHawks since we’re from Washington. I went to a few Mariner’s games as a kid, but other than that I don’t think that I ever attended any professional sports games growing up.

I went on to marry a man who doesn’t watch sports. AT ALL.  We turn the Super Bowl on every year, but we seriously have to check to see who is playing and then choose someone to root for.  Sometimes we root for both teams. I guess we’re strange.

Even though I have never enjoyed watching sports very much, I was very athletic growing up.  I played volleyball, basketball, softball, and golf in high school.   I even went on to play 2 years of volleyball in community college and really enjoyed it.

My Grandpa Thornton was pretty good at playing basketball from what I’ve been told. I believe this picture was taken in high school.

My dad was athletic too – he played football in high school and college and went by the nickname “Thunder”.  My mom had that painted on her wall (they were high school sweethearts).

My sister (whom everyone calls “Thor”) is way more athletic than I could ever hope to be though.  She was an All American in the discus in college and even made it to the Olympic trials.  She competes in Highland Games and lifts lots of weights. She works as a strength training coach at a university now.  She’s really strong.  And I am a complete wimp compared to her.  Especially now that I’ve had five children and my body is no longer in harmonious conjunction with my mind.  I don’t think that I could hit a volleyball if I tried. 🙂

Maybe I’ll get off my rear end and find an old ladies volleyball league when we move to Texas. 🙂  Genealogy is definitely not a very active hobby….


Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

I survived Disney World with the kids again this week. Phew!  It was fun, but absolutely exhausting. (Here are my youngest 3 kids  with Buzz)

I’m happy to be back home, on my comfy couch, catching up on my blog reading.

Here’s my list of great posts I found this week:

  1. This week marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.  Bill West challenged us to write a post about our Civil War ancestors and many people joined in.  His post “The Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge” is a great place to find some Civil War reads!
  2. I enjoyed ” Maritime Monday: John Clifton Brannon” on A Few Nuts From the Tree.  I loved the newspaper article she found about the bride’s father’s reaction to their wedding.  I don’t think they were ever eating Thanksgiving dinner together.
  3. Vickie at Be Not Forgot posted a lovely printable kinship chart in her post “Tech Tuesday: Kinship Chart“.
  4. I loved Judy of Curbow-Montoya Family’s post on “Ancestor Envy“.  I like to convert people too. 🙂
  5. Cheryl Palmer of Heritage Happens continued her series on the Great Swedish Adventure.  I can’t wait to see if she gets on the show!  Good luck Cheryl!!!
  6. If you haven’t done it yet, make your blog mobile.  A lot of us blog readers are nerds with smart phones and we like to read on the go. 🙂  Head over to the Find My Ancestors Blog to the post “Mobile Monday: More Mobile Friendly Blogs” to find out how.
  7. Heather from Nutfield Genealogy was surprised to learn that the National Archives read her blog post. 🙂 You never know who is reading your blog!
Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

A few weeks ago, I posted this picture of some women on a beach.  I had absolutely no info on who these women were, when the picture was taken, or what beach this might be. I’m inclined to think that the woman on the right is one of my Grandpa Don’s sisters though.

I was so surprised and excited when Misty Cotton emailed me the other day, telling me that she actually recognized the beach!  It is the pier at Oceanside, California.  And that’s not all, she actually went down to the pier and took pictures for me!!  What a sweetheart!

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedIt’s so neat to look at the pictures and see what changes have been made since the first picture was taken. The arches were enclosed, the lamps changed, and some new areas have been built up.  The pier itself looks the same though!

I still don’t know who the women are, but I now know where the picture was taken.  Part of the mystery is solved.  Thank you Misty!

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

As we prepare to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, I thought I’d join in on Bill West‘s Civil War Blog Challenge and write a little blurb on each of our Civil War ancestors.

My ancestors who served during the Civil War:

  1. John Edwards: (my 3rd great-grandfather) He was born in Canada, but immigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1851. He was born in 1848, so he must have been very young during the war. He served in Co. G of the 9th Michigan Infantry.  I am still waiting on his pension records, so I don’t have the full details on what his injuries were (if any).
  2. John Henry Becker: (my 3rd great-grandfather) He was born in Germany, but immigrated to the U.S. in 1852. He enlisted as a private in Co. H of Cole Co. Reg’t of Missouri Home Guards in June of 1861. He was discharged in October of that same year.  He then enlisted again in July 1862, this time as a Second Lieutenant.  In October of 1864, he was commanding a company in a battle.  They were sustaining a  battery of artillery and this caused his deafness.  He was discharged in March 1865.
  3. Jacob Frederick Sanchez-Tereso : (my 2nd great-grandfather) He was born in Germany, and immigrated to the U.S. in about 1849.  He enlisted in August of 1862 in Co. F of the 33rd Regiment of Iowa Infantry. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1863.   He was discharged in July of 1865.
  4. Samuel Edward Lee: (my 3rd great-grandfather) He was born in abt. 1823 in Montgomery county, VA.  In 1863, he enlisted as a private in Co. A 37 Va Cavalry Battalion for the Confederacy.  He was wounded in the right arm on Christmas Day 1863 in a skirmish at Bunker Cove, Tennessee.  He was wounded by a ball which entered beneath middle of right clavicle on upper edge of right scapula.  It caused his arm to be paralyzed and atrophied and he could not use it in manual labor.  He died in Virginia in 1891.
  5. Austin Agee: (my 3rd great-grandfather)  He was born in 1820 in Patrick County, VA.  According to his wife’s pension record, he was in Abe Reynold’s Company, which left Patrick County in 1864, and also with the Virginia militia.   The pension record does not state if he received any injuries.  He died after the war, in 1890.
  6. Hugh M. Robertson: (my 3rd great-grandfather’s brother).  Hugh worked as a teacher before the war. He enlisted in August of 1862 in Washington, Iowa.  He was killed in action by the explosion of a shell while serving as  a Corporal in Co. A. , 25th Reg’t of Iowa Infantry at Jackson, Mississippi.  He died before marrying or having children.
  7. Henry Pottgen: (my 3rd great-grandmother’s brother).  He was born in about 1843 in Illinois.  He was the only support for his mother, Sophia (Ross) Pottgen for five years before the war.  He enlisted in Co. C, 13th Regt. U.S. Infantry, 1st Batt. in March of 1862.  By October 1863, he had died of chronic diarrhea.  His mother, Sophia, received a mother’s pension.
  8. George Turner Cavit: (my 3rd great-grandmother’s brother)  He died while on the floating hospital “Nashville” near Millikens Bend, Louisiana in May of 1863.
  9. Adam Potter Cavit: (my 3rd great-grandmother’s brother). He was born in 1839 in PA and enlisted in in Co. D. 13th Iowa Vol. Inf. while living at Washington, IA in 1864.  His older brother George had already been killed in the war the previous year.  He lived until 1915, and for a number of years lived in a soldier’s home.


My husband also had ancestors who served during the Civil War:

  1. Ward Pierce: (my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather)  He enlisted at Camden, NJ in August of 1861. He was in a hospital, ill with something in June of 1862 and was discharged that same month.  He enlisted again as a Private in Co. G, commanded by Capt Theo W Baker in the 6th Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers.  Later, the 6th and 8th Regiments were consolidated and he served in Co. E 8th Regiment NJ Vols.  He was wounded on June 8, 1864 at the Battle of Cold Harbor. He had been hit in the left thigh with a shell and ended up in the hospitals at Newark and Davids Island for 15 months, before he was discharged in August of 1865. In his pension records, he stated that the scar (which was 6 1/2 by 4 inches), ulcerated and pained him greatly, not allowing him to do hard labor.
  2. Hedger Pierce: (my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather).  He was Ward Pierce’s father.He enlisted in January of 1864 and was a Private in Company “I” of the 10th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers.  He was wounded while at Laurel Hill, VA in May of 1864.  He was hit by a musket ball in the left shoulder. He appears to have been sent to a number of hospitals – in D.C., Philadelphia, Davids Island, and Newark. In later years, he became paralyzed and his son Ward had to take care of him, despite his own injuries.
  3. George Spencer: (my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather). He was born in England in 1826 and immigrated to New York in 1851.  He enlisted on Christmas Eve of 1863 and mustered in on the 5th of January. He was sent to Baltimore, Maryland to join Company D. of the 8th New York Heavy Artillery. He participated in the Battle of Cold Harbor in June of 1864.  In August of 1864, he was captured and taken to Belle Isle prison. This was an open-air prison located on an island in the James River near Richmond, Virginia that provided no shelter.  There was poor sanitation, insufficient food supplies, and a lack of clothing and blankets for prisoners.  While being held captive here, George became very sick.  He developed a cold due to exposure. He was paroled in October.  He participated in the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.  On May 23, 1865, he and his unit traveled to Washington, D.C. to march with the Army of the Potomac in the Grand Review.  After the war, he still suffered from chronic diarrhea and problems with being much weaker than before the war. 
  4. James Baker: (my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather).  He was born in PA in 1824 and enlisted in March of 1865 in Co. F. 74th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers.  When he came back from the war, he suffered horribly from chronic diarrhea.  (this seems to have been a very common complaint).  He moved his family to Tennessee and then on to Kansas in hopes of recovering.  He died in Kansas in 1885.
  5. Peter Henry Weeks: (my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather).  He was born in New York in 1842, but moved with his family to Indiana and then on to Iowa and later Kansas.  He enlisted in April of 1862 in Co. I. 5th Missouri State Militia Cavalry.   He came down with the mumps while he was in service and was discharged in November of that same year.  He then enlisted again, this time in 1863 in Co. D. 8th Iowa Cavalry.  He was mustered out in August 1865 in Macon, Georgia – just down the road from where we live now. 🙂

Since I have been very lucky to have visited a number of Civil War battlefields this past year, I feel even more of a connection to these ancestors who served and suffered during this war.

Some of the places I was able to visit are: Gettysburg, Manassas, Chickamauga & Chatanooga, Appomattox Court House, Ft. Pulaski, Ft. McAllister, and Fort Scott.  I’ll be visiting Ft. Sumter in May. 🙂

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

Olga was born the 6th of 10 known children of Carl Magnus Klarström and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg, on 29 April 1877 in Älvkarleby, Uppsala, Sweden.  Älvkarleby is near Gävle, on the Eastern coast of Sweden.


As I looked at the birth record a little closer, I noticed the word “Skutskar”.

I found Skutskar using Google Maps. I love the internet. 🙂 It is a town just north of Alvkarleby.  I couldn’t seem to decipher first word though.   I figured out that the Gifta 1868 means that her parents were married in 1868.  I believe that Klamparen is her father’s occupation and he must have worked in Skutskar.  That’s my educated guess since I saw it on a number of her siblings birth records also.  I tried looking up Klamparen in the dictionary, but was unable to find it.  Luckily, I posted a question on Genealogy Wise and someone quickly replied that “a  klampare is a person, who works in the sawmill and sorts pieces of wood which are cut out in different shapes and sizes.”  So, Carl Klarstrom worked at a sawmill.

The Klarstrom family moved to Lenhovda in 1885, to Alem in 1889, and to Gavle in 1890. Olga’s father Carl died in Gavle in 1890.

Olga left Sweden in 1892 at the age of 15, heading for Boston.  I know that two of her older sisters, Maria and Christina were both married and living in Boston already.  Perhaps she went to live with one of them.

I have included the two people next to her on the passenger list out of Goteborg.  I don’t recognize their names, but they were both also headed to Boston and one was from Lenhovda and the other from Alvkarleby – both places that her family had lived before Gavle.  Could they be friends or cousins of some sort?

I then found her again traveling from Sweden to America in 1898. I’m not sure if she was simply visiting on her first trip over. Maybe she worked for a while and then returned home. I don’t know. But this time, she was traveling with her younger sister Klara, who was only 13. They were both listed as servants.


In the 1900 census, Olga was living at 637 Dudley Street in Boston, as a servant to George Bartlett, a widower and his single daughter. She was the only servant in the household.  I wonder if it was lonely being a solitary servant.  Was her work hard?  Did she have time off to visit with her sisters?

By the 1910 census, she had found a new position.  She was living on Fairfield Street in Boston and working as a maid to an architect, Francis R. Allen and his wife.  There were 3 other servants living in the house, so she appears to have had company. 🙂

I did a little searching and found that Francis R. Allen was quite a famous architect during that time period. I wonder if he gave lavish parties that she had to work at.

She left America again in June of 1910 and returned in November of the same year, this time with her mother, Christina (Bennberg) Klarstrom.  Was her mother coming to visit or work?  I am not sure how long she stayed. Olga was listed as a dressmaker this time.

I then found her in another arrival list in 1912.  She had been in Sweden again.  It stated that her last permanent residence was in Beverly Farms, MA – north of Boston.

It also stated that she was headed to Woods Hole, MA – which is quite a ways south of Boston.

It looks like she was moving around from one position to another quite a bit.  Was this normal for a servant of this time period?  I guess I envisioned servants staying with one family for years and years.  I have a feeling that part of the reason she continued to find new positions, was that she made frequent trips back to Sweden.  I was unable to find her in the 1920 census – perhaps she was in Sweden again.

I found her leaving New York for Sweden in 1923.  Her residence was listed as Springvale, Connecticut.

She returned to America in October of that same year.  This time, she was listed as a “sick nurse” and she was heading to Boston.

In 1924, she signed her Declaration of Intent.  At the time, she was living at 1125 Lexington Avenue in New York City – a few blocks from Central Park.  She was listed as a trained nurse.

She was naturalized in 1928. In 1928, she was living at “The Caravela” in Cohasset, Massachusetts.

In the 1930 census, she was living at the Woodward Hotel on West 55th Street in Manhatten.  From what I gather, the building is still standing, but it is now called “The Dream Hotel”.  She was listed as a nurse at the hotel.

(the picture found while I was searching Google Maps)

In 1936, she arrived in New York from Sweden yet again.  This time she was living at 14 Perham Street in West Roxbury, MA.

And lastly, I found her in the Social Security Death Index.  It stated that she died25 May 1970 in Norwood, Norfolk, Massachusetts.

As far as I can gather, she never married and never had any children.  She obviously did a lot of traveling back and forth between Sweden and MA/NY.  I wonder if she ever went to visit my great-grandmother (her sister) in Seattle.

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top
F i n d   i t
B l o g r o l l
T a g s
B u t t o n