The following biography was printed in a local history of Mahaska County, Iowa.
STAFFORD, DR. ELAM, physician and surgeon, Oskaloosa; born in Wayne county, Indiana, February 1, 1826; he lived there and in Tippecanoe county for seventeen years, and came with his father’s family to Iowa by wagon, and arrived here in this county in June, 1843; the principal thing here then was a pole stuck up to designate the spot supposed to be the center of the county; he was one of the earliest settlers here; he sat on a log and wrote tickets on election day; the election was held one mile north of town, in the edge of the timber; he studied medicine, and graduated in Cincinnati in 1852, and began the practice of his profession, and is one of the oldest physicians here; he was connected with the drug trade here for eleven years; married Miss Sarah Stanley, from Illinois, in June 1852;  they have one daughter, Emma F., and have lost one son, Charles W.,  and one daughter, Katie.

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I can’t believe that March is almost over!  The days are starting to fly by so quickly.  It feels like summer here in Savannah. The temps have been in the 80’s and my kids have pulled the squirt guns out.

I have to admit that I’m getting really excited about the upcoming NGS Conference in May!!  Are you going to be there? I’d love to meet some other geneabloggers there!!

Despite another birthday party (my son turned 5 this week) and a full week of homeschooling (we’re trying to finish 3 months of schoolwork in the 5 weeks before the movers show up…), I managed to find some great reads this week!  Enjoy.:)

  1. Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun was an entertaining one this week.  I enjoyed Caro’s Family Chronicles’ contribution to the Genealogisms.
  2. I am so jealous of my cousin Wendy at Shaking Leaves.  She got a new toy that I’ve been drooling over for months now – a Flip Pal.  I will gift myself with one sometime in the near future!! Check out her review
  3. Please head over to my friend Amy’s blog, Hunting Dead People and give her a big blog hug.  She was living in Japan when the earthquakes hit and chose to come back to the States this past week with her baby.  While she’s glad to be out of a scary situation, she left her husband and her dog in Japan.:(
  4. I enjoyed Heather’s post (at Leaves for Trees) about a Cure for genealogy ADD. I think that a lot of us can understand! (I grew up watching Seasame Street too by the way!)
  5. You have to go to My Ancestors and Me and read Nancy’s post about Beautiful Emma and Her Lovely Waist.  She posted a beautiful picture and some great research into the fashion of the time period.
  6. Earlier this week, I made my blogs mobile friendly after reading this blog post at Find My Ancestors Blog.  It works!  I can open my blogs on my iPhone and a mobile version appears instead of the graphics heavy version which takes forever to open on my phone.
  7. Bill West over at West in New England sent out a reminder for his Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge.  I think I might jump in on this one, since I had family who fought on both sides.
  • Theresa Casteel - March 25, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    Wendy’s review of the flip-pal made me jealous too! I love the portability of it.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Gurney - March 25, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    Thank you so much for the #FF, Jen. I’m really glad you enjoyed my post – I had a good chuckle writing it.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - March 25, 2011 - 11:15 pm

    Thanks Jenn – I am starting to get back into the genealogy research… just so busy with the adjustment. Such a shock… ya know? And still at a brick wall in research.. grrr! Why did I think it would be fun to dedicate one year to one surname? LOL! Well… at least I can research without aftershocks!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - March 26, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    Thanks for highlighting my post and directing people to it. I appreciate it! Good weekend to you.ReplyCancel

  • Bill West - March 27, 2011 - 6:04 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Jen!ReplyCancel

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I just love looking through old newspapers.  It’s so entertaining!

I was doing some searches on, looking for my husband’s Cossaboon ancestors in New Jersey, and I found this strange news article (no relation that I know of). Very interesting…


Stuck in a Woman’s Foot It Comes Out at Her Head.

Special to The Republic.

Clayton, Pa, March 27 – Mrs. Mary C. Cossaboon stepped on a needle 28 years ago.  It entered her right foot and was never removed.  While combing her hair yesterday Mrs. Cossaboon felt a pricking sensation on the top of her head, and in a few moments pulled out the needle.

During three years she had experienced no pain until a few days ago, when she noticed a sore spot on the top of her head, where the needle came out.  It was as bright as new.


  • Cynthia Shenette - March 24, 2011 - 7:39 am

    My grandmother use to talk about this type of thing all the time! She was a seamstress and was always telling me to be careful with needles. She made a point of putting them in a pin cushion. She never held pins in her mouth like some did either. I remember her telling me about someone who lost a needle in her arm, because she pinned it in her sleeve and lost track of the needle. The needle traveled through the skin and ended up in her heart and killed her. My grandmother’s theory was the needles always traveled toward the heart with the blood flow. All these years I wondered if it was an old wives tale. Maybe not…

    Thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

  • Dee Blakley - March 24, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    How wild!

    I love looking at old news articles, too. You just never know what you will find.

    And now that you have transcribed this one, someone using Google might find out a very neat story about one of their ancestors…ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Gurney - March 24, 2011 - 8:44 pm

    Yeuch! How gross. I shall never look at needles the same way again. Great post, though.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - March 25, 2011 - 11:16 pm

    Seriously? This can’t be true… what kind of needle would you even lose in your body like that? WOW! That is really all I can say… WOW!ReplyCancel

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The young woman on the left is Roselie Melissa (Hollingsworth) Davidson.  I am unsure as to who the girl next to her is, but she has some very large bows in her hair!

The data I have with the picture says that it was taken in 1917 in Hastings, Nebraska.  I’m wondering if that is correct though.  Does the clothing fit in with 1917?  That would put Rose at about 27 years old, since she was born in 1890.  She would be married with 2 kids and living in Kansas in 1917 (neither one of her kids would be old enough to be the child in this picture).  Could this possibly be from 10 years earlier, when she was 17?

Any thoughts are appreciated. :)

  • Shaz - March 23, 2011 - 10:15 am

    You could send the photo to The Photo
    Detective. Do you follow her blog?ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 23, 2011 - 10:45 am

      I do! I’ve never sent anything in to her before, but I think that I just might! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - March 23, 2011 - 10:40 am

    Take a look at the dress my grandmother is wearing in my profile pic. It’s from 1915.
    There are some similarities.

  • Susan Donaldson - March 23, 2011 - 11:19 am

    I love this photograph – they both have such a serene smile.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - March 23, 2011 - 1:29 pm

    I can’t see a wedding ring on her hand. The girl’s clothing looks remarkably like outfits my grandmother wore as a girl. She was born in 1900. I’d guess 1907 vs. 1917. I wonder if the girls were sisters?ReplyCancel

  • Dee Blakley - March 23, 2011 - 6:09 pm

    I’ve been looking at Google images of Simplicity dress patterns for both eras. That’s a hard call for me, because the dress length (even though she’s seated) seems to be more along the lines of the earlier time, but for both eras you see the more relaxed look and less of a hard silhouette seen in the 1890’s.

    Lovely photo.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - March 24, 2011 - 7:50 pm

    Jen, go back to the newspapers of 1917, choose a newspaper from an area where she lived, then look at the ads for women’s clothing. I did just that at this post: It might help you decide if the clothing ads from 1916-1917 look similar to their clothing. You could even check 1915, assuming that their dresses might not be new that year in 1917. For the post I wrote (with the link here) I was looking at ads from 1903 to 1909. The women during those times had very tiny waists and wore “waists” with pouffy sleeves. While I think Roselie looks older than 17 and younger than 27, I think her clothing may be closer to styles in 1917.

    It is a beautiful photograph of two beautiful ladies! And the bows – my mother was born in 1915 and by about 1918 or so was wearing very large bows in her hair, too.

    I hope you’re able to successfully determine the closest date.ReplyCancel

  • Nick Woods - March 24, 2011 - 8:06 pm

    Jen, Rosalie Melissa Hollingsworth was probably 17. The little girl standing next to her was supposed to be Mrs. Dill’s daughter.
    Joseph David Hollingsworth had married Mrs. Dill.
    The picture was probably taken in Nebraska before the 2nd Mrs. Hollingsworth nee Dill caught flu was very ill and died. Grandma Rose (my Grandma Andy’s Great-Grandma) loved her 2nd Mother and was very distraught when she died.
    As ever Mom W.ReplyCancel

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I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now (although only for a year as a geneablogger).

When I first started out, all of the badges and widgets in my sidebar were randomly placed. Some to the left. Some to the right. Some centered.  It looked awkward to me.

HTML code is scary though and I had no idea how to fix my badges and make them beautifully centered in the middle of my sidebar.

Somewhere along the way, I figured it out.  And it’s really simple.  Like, why-didn’t-I-figure-this-out-earlier simple.

And I want to share it with you fellow bloggers who might not already know how to do this.

All you need to do is go into the area where you add your widgets and open it up to where the HTML code for your button/badge it.

At the very beginning of all of that code, add <center>  and at the very end of all of the code, add </center>

That’s it.  Easy peasy.

  • Caroline Gurney - March 22, 2011 - 8:21 am

    Thanks for this very useful tip, Jen. Now could you please tell us how you created that awesome banner with the changing pictures?ReplyCancel

  • Jen - March 22, 2011 - 8:35 am

    I wish I had the technical expertise to tell you how to make a banner like that, but I don’t.
    I made the 3 different banners in Photoshop Elements. I use a self-hosted WordPress site and bought a “theme” from ProPhoto Blogs (I actually bought it for my other blog, but was ale to use it for this one too). So essentially, it came with the theme. All I had to do was choose the “built-in flash slideshow” button and then upload my banners. There are so many choices and customizations with this theme, it’s a lot of fun to play with!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Gurney - March 22, 2011 - 9:24 am

    Thanks, Jen. I love the folk art theme of your blog – eye candy :-)ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 22, 2011 - 12:13 pm

      I just found a digital scrapbooking “kit” online and asked the lady who made it if I could use it for a blog. Then I designed the header and buttons and such with that. I loved it because it had a “family tree” sort of a theme to it. :)ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Bishop - March 22, 2011 - 12:46 pm

    Thank you, Jen for this great little tip! I love your blog design and really enjoy reading your posts. It gives me great pleasure to give you the One Lovely Blog Award. You can find the details at my blog, A Sense of Family:

  • Shelley Bishop - March 22, 2011 - 12:59 pm

    Thanks, Jen, for this great little tip! I love your blog design and really enjoy reading your posts. It gives me great pleasure to give you the One Lovely Blog Award. You can find the details on my blog, A Sense of Family, at: asenseoffamily-sb@blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • Pat Kuhn - March 22, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    thank’s for the tip, I will give it a try!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - April 5, 2011 - 9:58 am

    What about centering the pictures? I can’t add code to center the images I added on the sidebar (NGS member, the 2011 FTM blog award, etc) and I don’t know how to convert an image to html to add it and center it that way…any advice? Thanks! :)ReplyCancel

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