Ari and Sally Agee were my great-great grandparents. They lived in the small town of Delphos, Iowa. I emphasize the “small”.

Here is a Google map of the entire town:

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I find it interesting that Sally is the first one listed on the deed, instead of her husband.

I wonder why they decided to sell their land in town.  Ari was a blacksmith and would have been about 68 in 1922. Perhaps he sold the land, because he retired and was passing his shop onto another person.  Just a guess.  In the 1925 and 1930 census, Ari and Sally were still living in Delphos, so it doesn’t look like they moved far.

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Philip Thornton was a brother to my 3rd great-grandfather, James Patrick Thornton.  They were both born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States.

Philip’s wife was named Johanna, but I believe she was his second wife, as his first wife was Margaret.  His children were James Paul, Michael, Mary, and Edward Charles.  He lived in Alton, Madison County, Illinois and ran a grocery store.


  • Cherie Cayemberg - December 19, 2011 - 7:58 am

    I’m very jealous. I have yet to find a will for any of my ancestors, but I keep looking! :)ReplyCancel

    • Jen - December 22, 2011 - 10:47 pm

      No wills!! Oh no!!! Wills are wonderful – you need to do some more searching, because I’m sure there are some out there waiting to be found!!!ReplyCancel

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This is a photo of Joseph David Hollingsworth (1851-1942), his wife Luelle Booth, and their children.

  • Larry Hollingsworth - December 14, 2011 - 7:36 pm

    I love old photos because the taking of them was an event, and not just a spur of the moment get together.
    I also have an original of this photo, sadly mine is not in as good a shape. I stil don’t know which of the daughters is Mary, and Christine. Only two years separate them.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - December 14, 2011 - 8:59 pm

      Sadly, I don’t know which is which either. You are welcome to save a copy of this picture to your computer, since it’s in better shape. :) I have many other pictures of Joseph David’s family also.ReplyCancel

  • nick woods - December 14, 2011 - 11:02 pm

    Jennifer, maybe the photos taken at Joseph David’s funeral in 1942 might help figure out which is which daughter. I’ve got those somewhere. Did you get copies of those? If not I’ll copy them and mail them after Christmas.
    Mom W.ReplyCancel

  • Larry Hollingsworth - December 15, 2011 - 6:57 pm

    I have a small photo of Joseph & Rosanna (Pewsey) Hollingsworth, at a young age, possibly a wedding photo? Taken by the Martin Bros., Council Groves, KS, listed on the bottom.ReplyCancel

  • Sue Hollingsworth - March 9, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing these, Jennifer!ReplyCancel

  • Marian Ervin Oller - February 5, 2015 - 9:25 pm

    Oh my gosh! I am the granddaughter of Ann Christine Hollingsworth. I just stumbled on this and am SO grateful you have posted these. I have a few photos rescued from my fathers things after his death and I must say that this is a treasure. THANK YOU so very much for posting. Am new to research and am enjoying it very much.ReplyCancel

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I have been so incredibly busy lately, but it’s been a good busy.  I have to admit that I as much as I dreaded our move to El Paso, this has been one of the best tours of my husband’s Army career.  While the terrain isn’t my style – I’m more for water nearby and lots of green foilage – the people I’ve met here are wonderful.  I think I’ve made more friends here than all of our other duty stations combined.  What this means is that I’m constantly busy with outings and social events and I have to admit that it’s been really nice to be busy doing fun things.  December is always a very busy month anyway, and it seems like we have a party to go to every day or two.  I haven’t had a lot of time for genealogy or blogging this week – but I did manage to spend my snow day (yes it SNOWED in El Paso) scanning in some documents, which I will be posting this coming week.

And on to this week’s favorite finds:

  • I’ve really been enjoying everyone’s Advent Calendar posts. I loved Heather Kuhn Roelker’s post about Santa Claus - he kind of creeped me out as a kid too.
  • I don’t think I have any famous artists in my family tree – or if I do, I sure didn’t get those genes.  I draw stick people – and not very well!  I loved the post Mini Bio: Carrie York, Minneapolis Artist over at GeneaMania.  It would be nice to have some of these family heirlooms!!!
  • The 112th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is up at Creative Gene- and it’s all about “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving“. The next edition is “A Charles Dickens Christmas” and submissions are due by January 1st.
  • Tonight’s edition of Geneabloggers Radio is entitled “Genealogy Gift Guide”.  Maybe I should make my husband listen to this one?  He’s always saying that I’m SOOOO hard to buy for and I don’t believe it.:)
  • Marian had some great tips on preparing for a genea-trip.  I confess that I’ve made a few not-so-prepared trips and have wasted precious time.
  • Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy had a great post about Pearl Harbor – with precious interviews.  and we got to hear the final twist to “My Dad’s College Paper”.:)

And a few pictures from my week…

Yes, this would be the miniature snowman my daughter made with our inch of snow.:)  He is now living in our freezer in front of the ground beef, because all of our snow melted.

Have you ever tried to get a family photo done??  I’ve been so busy taking pictures of other people’s families these past couple of weeks (everyone wants Christmas card pics), but I finally decided that I needed to get a picture of my own family.  I set up the tripod and put the timer on.  It was easier said than done.  What a comedy of errors!!  Trying to get 7 people to look at the camera all at one time – with no one actually behind the camera- was interesting.  Which do you think we should put on the front of our Christmas card??:)

Yeah, I think we might be trying this again!

  • Cynthia Shenette - December 9, 2011 - 7:44 am

    I LOVE all of the photos! My absolute favorites are the one at the very top with you and your husband, and the one with your daughter and the cell phone. That one is just screams teenager! Happy Holidays!ReplyCancel

  • Randy Seaver - December 9, 2011 - 10:00 am

    I like the last one best. The top one is good too…it’s hard to get 7 people to smile at once, eh?ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - December 11, 2011 - 1:47 pm

    I love all of the photos, but the first one is best. It’s practically impossible to get everyone to look at the camera at the exact moment. But the first shot seems to capture everyone’s lovely happy spirit!

    Or, Shutterfly lets you select a card that will accept several photos. You could include a couple of the photos with this story! I would love a card like that!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqi - December 12, 2011 - 11:39 am

    Only a family historian would have a daughter who preserves her snowman in the freezer!

    The pics are great! The first one is great, but so are the others. I’d say go for a card app that allows more than one shot. Don’t worry about getting the perfect picture with everyone coordinated and smiling. Candid is best!ReplyCancel

  • Dee - December 18, 2011 - 7:56 am

    I like all of them, but the first one and the last one are my favorites. Which one did you choose?ReplyCancel

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Philip Thornton was my 3rd Great-Granduncle – brother to my 3rd great-grandfather, James Patrick Thornton.  They were both born in Ireland and immigrated to Illinois.  James moved on to Hubbard, Nebraska in later years, but Philip stayed in Alton.

This was one of the treasures I found in Philip’s probate records.  He owned a grocery store in Alton, Illinois.

It was neat to see his letterhead, even though it seems to have been crossed out for the purpose of this letter.

I looked on Google Maps to see where the store was located. It looks like Belle Street may have moved a little bit over time – and that a residential area is where part of Belle Street used to be. Looking at the corner of Belle and 16th streets, it doesn’t seem like this was a very busy urban area. It must have been a country store. There are a couple of structures there on what was the corner – I wonder if one of these could have been the store??  Probably not, considering he was a grocer in the 1870’s-80’s time period.  The building is most likely long gone.

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