Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year's 4 pack

Among our collections, is an old postcard collection from my husband's grandmother, Clara Coleman. Here are 4 of my favorite New Year's cards from the collection. The first was written in 1922; the second was written in 1932; the third was never used and the fourth in 1927. Happy New Year to all!

Reflections on my Mom, the genealogist

Yesterday, December 30th, 2011, was the 5th anniversary of my mother's passing, after a valiant fight with Alzheimer's for one year. I spent yesterday, reflecting that she is the reason I'm so involved with genealogy. She was not just my mother, but my mentor in terms of the importance of leaving a legacy of family history. The picture above was taken of our family in either 1958 or 1959 at our home in Maple Heights, Ohio. It was part of the 40 boxes of pictures and genealogy paperwork that she left in my care.

It was with my mother and father that I first visited relatives in Fayette County, PA; and went hunting for tombstones in the cemeteries. It was through her that I learned about the confusion of the FOX family, and watched while she researched and produced articles and pamphlets relating to Ohio genealogy. She did all of her work with letters! In fact I have over 500 copies of letters she wrote (she used old fashioned blue copy paper) and also all of the replies.

When I first brought my husband-to-be home to meet my parents, all my mom really cared about was his lineage. And was shocked but then thrilled to find she would have another family to unravel. My mother, however, just did not do the work - she insisted that I do it with her support.

Today, my passion has become genealogy, and continuing to unravel the family history. I often wonder what she would have said about her research, if she had been given the opportunity to blog. She traveled to the National Archives in DC, was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City on several occasions. But she never used Ancestry, and had only just begun to put her work into the computer. I wonder whether she would have told stories or written about her research. I simply know that the time we spent searching, rolling the microfilm forward, was precious time and one of memories.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Special Christmas - Story #2

Our youngest son, Zachary James Richardson, surprised Bethany Wright (with the help of her parents) on December 23, 2011 in Hickory, N.C. The purpose - asking for her hand in marriage. Here is their wonderful picture.

What makes this so very special, is that during my genealogy research, we have discovered that Zachary and Bethany are eighth cousins, once removed! How proud my mother would be of this union.

Bethany is related to Conrad Yoder, who traveled to Hickory as an apprentice and lived there his entire life. Zachary is related to his brother, Nicolaus Yoder, how stayed in Berks County, PA - but his relatives eventually moved to Ohio, where my mother, Dorothy Mae Yoder was born.

Congratulations - and Bethany - we welcome you to our family!

A Special Christmas - Story #1

My genealogy line has grown - here is story #1.

On December 23, 2011 Dominique Fufidio and Matthew Scott Richardson married at the Sandals Grand Rivera Resort in Jamaica! They eloped - however, everyone knew about it a head of time - they simply wanted a simple wedding!! However, they had beautiful engagement pictures - and of course the wedding pictures will be coming along later.

Be sure to visit the site of their engagement pictures at:

Matt finished his masters in engineering last week; and Dominique graduates from dental school in Buffalo.

We welcome her to our family tree!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A picture that takes life!

Have you ever found a picture and you have little knowledge about those portrayed? This has happened often to me, as I've gone through boxes and boxes of pictures left by my mother of pictures of relatives. The one displayed here had on the back "Aunt Zella and Uncle John King" missionaries to Africa.

It took me a while to place them in the family tree. John King is the son of Martin King, the brother to Charles Frederick King, who was the great-grandfather to my grandmother Virginia King. The rule in the family was that if we didn't know the "correct terminology" for relationships - we just called people Aunts and Uncles! I believe that they would have been first cousins, twice removed.

The "aha" moment came when on my tree I received this comment:

"I'm the site manager for Hanby House Museum in Westerville, OH. Zella Bates King's wedding dress is on display in the museum. Her husband wasthe president of the Hanby Memorial Association formed in 1934 for the purpose of saving Hanby House. (see www. Mrs. King died of a heart attack in her home on October 18, 1954. There is a great story of the Kings returning from their mission trip to Africa and missing the sailing of their ship...the Titanic! There is a dormitory on the Otterbein University campus named for the Kings."

So now there is even more curiosity about this couple. And more work will come to discover their full story and their legacy for the family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Memories - December 5, 1941

My parents, Maurice Fred COFFMAN and Dorothy Mae YODER were married on December 5, 1941 at St. Paul's Church, part of Rock Creek Parish in Washington, D.C. by Pastor Bohanan. The picture above was taken on their wedding day and today marks their 70th wedding anniversary. They both were alive at the time of their 65th anniversary in 2006.

Dad was in the Navy, stationed in DC. On the morning of December 7, 1941, immediately after the hit at Pearl Harbor, the local MP's arrived at their hotel room, and whisked my dad away as a result of the strike on the United States. Thus, their honeymoon was cut short. The wedding was very small, with just their parents in attendance. Afterwards the announcement shown above was sent out by my mom's parents.

Dad and Mom always celebrated their wedding day, through cards and flowers. Within the 5 years before Mom's death in 2006, they returned to St. Paul's Church to visit the site of their wedding. They both admitted that although much "older" the church had not changed.

They taught us all the importance of wedding vows, and as my middle son, Matthew Scott Richardson marries Dominique Fufidio on December 23rd, 2011, I sincerely hope for them the same long life together! Congratulations!!!!