Friday, September 4, 2020

Photo Friday - Beautiful & Talented

Helen Rose (Rich) Bryan

1941 - 1996

Daughter of Ralph and Helen (Marguerat) Rich
Helen Rose was my dad's cousin,
and trained in both voice and ballet.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020


We had raspberries with our dinner, tonight.
It's not like I haven't eaten raspberries before, especially over the last X decades. This was different, though. Upon biting into the first one, I was immediately transported to my dear, dear Grandpa Epps' wonderful raspberry patch. I was prompted to write a poem. I want to share. Thanks for indulging me.

 I ate a raspberry.

It took me back in time,

To my grandpa’s garden,

And the man, so gentle and kind.


Straight rows,

Parallel, marked with string.

Tenderly worked by Grandpa,

Tidy, productive, and satisfying.


Working together,

Shovel, spade, fork, and hoe.

Grandpa’s element,

Helping food and children grow.


Enjoying the fruits

Of labor pleasantly spent,

With Grandpa,

Tall and unbent.


Untold influence

Over years and years.

Grandpa’s kindness and care

Shaping those he held so dear.


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Friday, July 24, 2020

Photo Friday - Scotland to Canada

John Aitchison

1834 - 1921

Born in East Lothian, Scotland, John emigrated with his
   parents and siblings in to Ontario, Canada, in 1855.
He married Elizabeth Ewing in 1861.
They are my husband's great-grandparents.
John is buried in the Knox Presbyterian Cemetery in
   Williamsford, Grey, Ontario.
I don't know when this was taken, but this
   appears to have been taken at the same time.

Such a cool family photo!

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Photo Friday - Websters, Colorized

"James Webster's Children"

circa 1861

I have always loved this picture. We don't know exactly when it was taken,
but we think it is likely it was about the time their mother, Jane (Shreve) Webster died.
There were 12 children, two of them died before this picture was taken.
We also don't know which person is whom. We believe the young women
in the back, second from the right, is our ancestor, Olive Orrel Webster.
(This was colorized at

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Friday, July 10, 2020

The View from the Avery Place

Looking North

Austin & Nettie Avery homeplace
near Woodston, Kansas
(formerly Rooks Centre)

In 2005 and 2019, I had the chance to make a pilgrimage to the
homeplace of my 2nd great-grandparents' in Rooks County, Kansas.
This was the view in 2005 from where the front porch would have been.
It was very peaceful, and seemed as if I could see forever.

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Photo Friday - Sweet Brothers

Franklin & Jackson

ca. 1932

My 2nd grand aunt, Bess (Ament) Welch was 
a photographer, primarily in Beach, North Dakota.
This proof sheet is of my dad and his brother.
I won't say more as they are both still living,
but aren't they adorable?!

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Photo Friday - My Grandpas

Howard Lee Epps
(1906 - 1977)
John Richard Hoyle
(1876 - 1958)
my grandfathers

I think it is so cool that I have this picture from 1955 of my
grandpas sitting together. Grandpa Epps (left) was my mom's
dad. He was six-foot-three and gentle as could be. Grandpa 
Hoyle was my dad's dad. He was about five-foot-seven. I have
no memory of him, being young when he passed away. 
I am told I called him 'Little Grampin,' while I called
Grandpa Epps 'Big Grampin.' I love them both!

You can read a previous post about John Richard Hoyle here

Friday, June 5, 2020

Photo Friday - Mabel's Chickens

Mabel Elizabeth Ament
my great-grandmother
b. 20 October 1878, Muscatine, Iowa
d. 9 March 1966, Phoenix, Arizona

We believe this picture of Mabel was taken between 1913, when she filed a homestead
claim for 360 acres in Dawson County, Montana, and 1921, when she sold the land. I just
love the curtains on the window and the wood holding up the brick chimney! 
If that is just a 'few' of her chickens, how many do you think she had?!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Photo Friday - Granny Wynne

Tessa Ruth (Gibler) Wynne
my husband's grandma
b. 30 May 1901, Council Bluffs, Iowa
d. 13 February 1994, Bremerton, Washington

If you ask anyone who knew her, Granny was a character!
She was hard-working, funny and fun, compassionate, happy, and loving.
Hers was not an easy life, but she still seemed to truly enjoy it.
She lived in Iowa, Nebraska, Washington, and Oregon.
She had some wonderful, difficult adventures.
I loved her. She loved me back. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Photo Friday - Pvt. John Topping

My third great-grandfather 
died September 17, 1862
Battle of Antietam

Photo credit: Miz J (Find-A-Grave)

John is buried at the Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, Maryland. He is the only one of my ancestors that I know of who died during his war-time service. He has been greatly honored and remembered among his descendants.

Clicking on his name (above) will take you to an article I wrote for a previous Memorial Day.

John's daughter, my second great-grandmother, Virginia C. (Topping) Morgan was just five months old when her father died. A poem she wrote for him in her later years can be found here.

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