From left to right: Mina, Albert, Roselie, Joseph David Hollingsworth, Ora, Rosanna Jeanette (Pewsey) Hollingsworth.

Their home was in Tonganoxie, Leavenworth county, Kansas.  It is small and simple, but beautifully made.

Mina, Albert, and Roselie were 3 of Joseph and Rosanna’s 5 children.  Ora was their grandson, son of their son Michael, who died of typhoid fever in 1896.

Ora was born in 1894, and Roselie in 1890, so my guess is that the picture was taken in about 1896-1897.

  • Susan - December 22, 2010 - 9:30 am

    I am completely smitten by this picture. It seems to perfectly represent those families settling on the plains. The house IS beautiful and such a testament to their plans and hopes. I’m rambling here, but this just took my breath away this morning. Thanks for sharing it with us.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Woods - December 25, 2010 - 1:13 am

    Jennifer, the house is still standing in Tonganoxie, Kansas.
    It was built by Joseph David Hollingsworth for his family.
    Little Ora Hollingsworth, is the 1st son of Michael Hollingsworth and his wife, Betsy(?). Their baby boy is sleeping in the house.
    This is in September or October of the year Michael Hollingsworth died. His wife had left after their baby was born.
    The photo was taken by a photographer.
    Mother said her Mother, Rosalie Melissa, said The Photographer has asked them to all stand still and not move. A chicken had walked across the yard, little Ora saw the chicken, never moved his head, but his eyes followed the chicken from one side of the yard to the other.
    Joseph & Rosanna were caring for their 2 grandsons as well as their three other children. Their oldest daughter, Mina Treat,was married and lived in the Caldwell, KS. area with her husband. comments by Granddaughter of Rosalie, “Mom W.”ReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 25, 2010 - 10:35 am

    Thanks! That is funny about the chicken. :) We’ll have to go and see the house next time we’re in KS.ReplyCancel

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December 21 – Christmas Music
What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

When I was a kid, I remember listening to Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas Album and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Didn’t most kids in the 1980’s listen to the Chipmunks at Christmas? I shudder to think of how many times I listened to that cassette tape.

I know that we caroled once or twice as a kid.  I can’t seem to recall what for though – maybe with Girl Scouts or youth group?  I do remember caroling with my German and French classes in high school.  They went together – and I just happened to be in both of them.  I always loved languages. We sang “Stille Nacht”, “O Tannenbaum” and “Ode an die Freude”, amongst others.

I posted some of my favorite Christmas songs on my Blog Caroling post, last week.

Here are a few more from Enya, which I think are absolutely enchanting.   They aren’t what I listened to as a kid, but maybe I will start a new tradition.:)

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I have been trying to order John Edwards’ pension record for years and years with no luck.

I posted about this in March and didn’t hear anything since then.

I decided to get aggressive and made some phone calls.  I’m finally figuring out that it is better to speak directly to people instead of sending an email.  I waited on hold to the National Archives for about 20 minutes, after the recording assured me every thirty seconds that the wait was 1 minute and 8 seconds.    Hmm.  Not sure who recorded that message.

I finally got through and then to my dismay was told that I needed to speak to someone else entirely.  Thankfully, it was a quick transfer and the next person picked the phone up immediately.  I don’t think I could have handled another wait on the phone. Especially since my kids seem to think that this is the time to make messes, loud noises, need immediate attention, or fight with each other.:)

The woman I spoke with was very helpful.  She explained to me the reason finding my ancestor’s pension record was so difficult.  He died in 1931 and the records were closed out in 1929.  That means that they definitely have everything from 1929 and before,but it gets tricky beyond that.  The VA had the records (and could possibly still have the records).  The problem is that the Civil War records weren’t put in a separate section to themselves.  They are mixed with other pensions (including WWI).  As they find these older records, they pile them up and send them to the National Archives.  But only as they find them.  They haven’t gone through them all specifically to pull the Civil War records out.  That means that my ancestor’s pension file could be in either place.

The reason I’ve had so much trouble in the past, is that the automated ordering system at the Archives immediately kicks a message back to me saying that they don’t have records for the date I’m searching.  I called the VA and they also told me the same thing. There is obviously some miscommunication between them.  I think that it would be wonderful if the VA would take the time to go through the files and forward all of the Civil War pensions to the NARA once and for all.  I don’t when this will happen.  I know that I’m not the only one that has had this problem though.

Anyway, back to my story.  The woman gave me the number to their resident pension expert and told me that he should be able to go and see if the record is there.  If not, he could walk me through the process of obtaining the record from the VA.

After a few days of phone tag, I emailed my ancestor’s information to him and he went and searched for it.  I now know that John Edwards’ pension is NOT at the National Archives.

Here is what he told me:

The way to access the file that you are requesting is via the Department of Veteran Affairs.  We recognize that we should have these files in the National Archives and we are working with the Department of Veteran Affairs to have them transferred to us.  You need to write a letter to the VA Freedom of Information Officer.  State that you are requesting access to the pension file under the Freedom of Information Act.  You must state your willingness to pay applicable fees or provide a justification to support a fee waiver.

The address to the VA FOIA/Privacy Act Officer is:

Department of Veteran Affairs

Veterans Benefits Administration (20M33)

810 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20420

So, I now have another letter to write.

I’m hoping that it doesn’t take months upon months to hear back from the VA.  I guess I shouldn’t be too impatient though.  I’ve been waiting almost 8 years, what’s another 6 months?  I think that I may give them my parents’ address as a backup in case they take too long in getting back with me.  We will be moving next summer and then moving again the summer after that. (Gotta love the military!)  I would hate for them to finally send his packet and have it lost in the abyss of undeliverable mail. I just hope that they are able to give me some sort of confirmation, or that there is some way for me to verify that they have received my request and are processing it.  We’ll see.  I WILL get his pension packet someday in the near future….

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I don’t have any ancestors (that I know of yet) that lived in Georgia or South Carolina.  It is so hard living in a place full of so much history and not being able to do any research here!

I have been working on my DAR membership for the past few months.  The patriot I chose was Nathaniel Brittain, my 5th great-grandfather.  He was from Virginia, and served in B. Company of the 8th Virginia Infantry during the Revolutionary War.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that his unit fought in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in Charleston, SC on June 28-29, 1776.  Of course I had to make a road trip!

After the War, Fort Sullivan was renamed Fort Moultrie after Colonel William Moultrie, who fought during this battle.  Today, it is a part of the National Park Service.

So, we piled all of the kids in the car and drove to Charleston.  It’s only about 2 hours away, but it’s kind of a boring drive – not much to see on the way.  They grumbled a bit, but were fine after we stopped for food.:)  We took them to the aquarium first, and then headed across the bridge and over to Sullivan’s Island.

I think that we must have chosen the windiest day of the year to visit.  It wasn’t super cold, but we were being blown away. Two of my kids finished the Junior Ranger programs, so they had to fill out their booklets and learn about the fort.  They had a hard time keeping hold of their papers with all of the wind!

I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more exhibits geared towards the Revolutionary War period, but I should have known there wouldn’t be much.  The fort was in use through WWII, so a lot of the exhibits were geared towards that and the Civil War.  The Palmetto Fort that was used during the Revolution is of course, long gone.

I’m still glad we made the trip.  It’s always nice to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.:)

I also was able to give the kids a great history lesson!

Here are some pictures from our visit:

(The first few were taken at Battery Park in Charleston, where there is a memorial to those that died or were wounded at this battle.)

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