Just a few words to say, I love this photo because of the sense of family it captures. A proud mom with her beautiful girls (not to mention the boys that aren't pictured). And a set of sisters who would be in each other's lives through it all.
Central Christian Church, San Antonio
This historical marker stands outside of Central Christian Church in San Antonio, Texas. My great-grandfather, Floyd Allan Bash Sr., was the minister here for many years and is mentioned on the marker.
Side note - I have a great picture of my grandfather (Floyd Jr.) and grandmother standing next to the photo, but because I've been SOOOO lax in scanning in my photos for a digital archive, I can't find it! Grrrrr me.
Moving on. Now I know where this marker is and that my GGfather is mentioned on it. But what if I didn't; could I find out if any family members were on an historical marker? This one was my test.
Spoiler, the answer is yes. And it's opened my eyes to some little known (to me) resources. A search for "historical markers" in Google led me to The Historical Marker database. This is a site loaded with historical markers listed by type, by location; you can search based on title, location, number, etc. It's great. But...my test marker wasn't there. Even when I did the most generic search possible it didn't come up. Still an awesome resource.
Next I tried the Historical Marker Society of America. You can click on a state and county to drill down. Or you can go straight to the site search. I tried this first, because you might as well find out if the easy way works! And it did. All I put in was my great-grandfather's name "Floyd Allen Bash." It took me to the one link for Central Christian Church (and a lot of paid links that I ignored). It referenced the text where my great-grandfather's name (my search term) was listed. Problem was, the link to the marker didn't work. Bummer. BUT I could now do another search for "Central Christian church San Antonio historical marker" and find many links, from photos on Flicker to San Antonio points of interest, that would show me the historical marker I now knew I was looking for.
Not the most direct route - but a great test. I doubt I have many (if any) more relatives whose names appear on historical markers, but now at least I know how to look. There are also all manner of local and regional historical marker websites to search through if you know the area you want to target. By the way, there might be other awesome ways to do this search that I'm not aware of. Please enlighten me if you know!
Copyright (c) 2013, Family at Your Fingertips, Jodi Bash
I could come up with no interesting tombstone pics, no genealogy travel stories, and no cool tips for this Tuesday's blogging theme. So, rather bored, I thought, why not see what Holly (see grandma in previous post) was up to? Here's what she was doing on Tuesday (Yes it was a Tuesday!) January 29, 1935:
Dang! The girl was busy. Now, everyone knows Texas is a big place - and while this trip wasn't incredibly long (245 miles in today's standards), it's a heck of a lot further than I'll drive today. And they drove all over ALL the time; with cars that didn't go nearly as fast and roads that even today (I've been on many) aren't great. Here's your visual below, thanks to Google Maps.
My mom's cousin, Emma, and I have been in touch recently. Her father and my grandmother were siblings - he was just 18 months younger than she - in a family of 13 siblings!
I have a lot of wonderful family photos that passed down to me from my grandparents. Many of those photos were used in a book written by Ruth Rickaway, Benjamin Frost, A Texan from Tennessee*. Our family line, the Guthrie's, is a short one in the impressive volume of information. But Ruth contacted my grandmother to use her photos. (I only know this because Ruth inscribed the book to my grandmother, thanking her for the pictures.)
Unfortunately, I don't own this picture; I wish I knew who did. It's the only one that includes many of the Guthrie kids, including Emma's father and my grandmother, as very young children. I absolutely love it.
Emma I hope we can find who owns the original. But in the meantime, enjoy the photo of your dad!
*Rickaway, Ruth Hollar. Benjamin Frost, A Texan from Tennessee. Houston: D. Armstrong Co. Inc. Printers & Publishers, 1981. Print. p. 197.
My grandfather's 1931 diploma from the University of Texas.
Diploma's have always been special family treasures to me. This wrinkled piece of paper was given to my grandfather, James Howard Dunaway, when he graduated from college in 1931. Given the US was in the midst of a major depression, he didn't have the opportunity to use it for a while.
Education was highly valued by my grandfather. He had watched his own father, who struggled to support his family as a railway mail clerk. My great-grandfather got a law degree by correspondence and finally achieved a level of financial comfort after years of hardship. Going to college was not a given when my grandfather graduated from Ranger high school as the valedictorian. He had scholarship money from the University of Texas, but had to work while attending school to make ends meet as his parents couldn't afford to give him anything.
So, in 1931, Howard had a diploma, a serious girlfriend (insert future grandmother here), and no prospect for a job. In his own words, "the world had gone flat." He picked cotton for a summer, hitchhiked with a college buddy to Chicago to see the World's Fair (that's a fun story), went back to school for a time. Then, more than 2 years after he had graduated, in 1933 he got a job. His first and his last. He worked his entire life for Humble Oil Co. (now Exxon).
His story - working through college, unable to find a job - wasn't unique then or now. But these things strengthen us. As I think about my oldest, who's about 4 years away from college (read TOP OF MIND), I have images of his intellectual and financial success. But I know to be careful what I wish for. He needs his own share of hiccups and hardships. He needs those challenges that will shape his character and mold him into the grandfather that someone will absolutely adore someday!
For those who've listened to my This I Believe segment, you'll be familiar with the Dead Relative Tour my mom and I took years ago. One of the things we were tracking down was this gravestone. James and Minerva were my grandfather's grandparents, and he had fond memories of them. This was a must stop on our tour. We knew the grave was in "Dothan cemetery". We had a very sketchy hand-drawn map from my grandfather to aid us. So naturally, we drove to Dothan, Texas. That was a naive beginner mistake.
Now, Dothan, as you can imagine is a small town. We passed farm after farm on the one road that appeared to exist. Finally, we stopped at the local post office. The post office lady (I have no idea what they are called) - after consulting with several other post office patrons - thank goodness there were some! - gave us directions to what she though was the general area of Dothan Cemetery.
And, after driving somewhat randomly in that direction, we did come across small Dothan cemetery. No farms, no people, not even cows in sight - it was remote to say the least. We were very excited to have found it! Without hesitation l I tromp out of the car, camera in hand to take pictures for posterity. My mother pauses and asks "Are you going to lock the car?" I stare blankly. "Well," she continues, "I mean, I'm leaving my purse inside."
Seriously!? We are in the middle of nowhere! Even the locals weren't sure how to get here, who would take your purse? I started laughing so hard that I think she just gave up the cause. But I know she would have felt a LOT better if I had actually locked the car. I got years, literally years, of teasing out of that one! Thanks for the memories mom!
I'm not sure I could find that cemetery again today - but I will try, hopefully with a daughter or two in tow ;)
In honor of wordless Wednesday, I decided to post a much loved pic of my great-grandparents, John and Annie Guthrie. I love the "Mother and Dad" that my grandmother wrote at the bottom too. Ok, enough with the words!
Holly Dunaway with mother-in-law Elizabeth Dunaway, 1940.
I was so excited when the 1940 census was released earlier this year. My true genealogy geek came out as I counted down the days - of course it was a little anti-climatic. There was a lot of indexing to be done. And I did it, and loved it. In a relatively short period of time all 50 states were up and searchable. What took months to build up, took less than an afternoon to tear through. I searched for every relative that had a reasonable chance of being alive (just born or not quite dead) by 1940. And I found most of them with an odd exception - THE ONE DARN FAMILY I WANTED TO FIND!
My grandparents (Holly & Howard Dunaway) were no where to be found. I was looking forward to this census because it was the first one where they would have been a married couple and my great-grandmother Elizabeth Dunaway was living with them, she would die a few years later. I had no clue they would be hard to find. I knew they were in Texas, I knew my great-grandmother was still alive, although a widow, I knew my grandmother was either pregnant with or had just had my uncle. Yet - nothing, zippo. I was very bummed.
So, not to be defeated, I turned to my grandfather's trusty autobiography. The 50 page, hand-written text from about 1995 cracks me up! He has great stories from his childhood and writes such interesting things about his grandparents and school years up to college. The last page is literally - I got married, got a job, moved a lot, had two kids, now I have some grandkids. Ok, then! Let's not waste time on messy details. I did love that man!
Moved a lot he did. The beginning of his autobiography contains a chronology from birth (1909) to "present" day (1995). A subset of that chronology is "Moves During First 8 Years of Marriage". My grandfather worked for Humble Oil in Geophysics. While I'm sure it's not a record, they moved 23 times in those 8 years; 5 times in 1940 alone. All from small town to small town in Texas. No wonder the census taker couldn't find them. I have this vision of the tired government worker deciding to stop for the evening with the intention of getting to that last house on the block the next day - only to come back and find they had moved. That would be my family, one step ahead of the Man!
So alas, I have no record of Holly and Howard in 1940, but that's okay, I have many, many more records and memories to keep me company. Good luck finding your loved ones in 1940.
I'm Jodi. Lover of genealogy, graveyards, and stuff that's old.