Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Gottfried Daft & Gottlieb Daft

Gottfried Daft Gottlieb Oconto Falls Wisconsin
My great-grandfather Gottfried Daft (1883-1980) and his brother Gottlieb Michael Daft (1886-1988), probably in Oconto Falls, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - John "Jack Tim" O'Connor Sr. & Bertha "Birdie" (Larson) O'Connor

John Timothy Jack Tim O'Connor Bertha Birdie Larson Racine Wisconsin

This week, we are finishing up the graves of O'Connors at West Lawn with John Timothy "Jack Tim" O'Connor Sr. and his wife Bertha J. "Birdie" (Larson) O'Connor. Jack Tim and Birdie were my grandfather's uncle and aunt, which means they were my great great uncle and great great aunt.

Bertha Birdie Larson O'Connor Katherine Jean Bema Bruce John Timothy Jack Tim Jr. Milwaukee Wisconsin
Birdie with her son Jack Tim Jr. and her mother-in-law Bema at the airport in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.
Jack Tim was the son of Katherine Jean "Bema" (Bruce) O'Connor and John Timothy O'Connor. He was born March 27, 1893 in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota and died January 22, 1965 in Racine, Racine, County Wisconsin. Birdie was the daughter of Jens "James" and Johanna Larson. She was born July 17, 1893 in Racine County, Wisconsin, and died on February 5, 1980 in Racine.

Jack Tim and Birdie married on June 27, 1917 in Racine County and had a son, John Timothy "Jack Tim Jr." O'Connor Jr. Jack Tim was a Freemason, and Birdie was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic organization - women aren't allowed to be Freemasons. Jack Tim and Birdie both have Masonic symbols on their headstone. Poor Birdie is remembered for the first time she hosted the family Thanksgiving - she didn't take the bag of giblets out of the turkey before she cooked it.

Jack Tim and Birdie are buried at West Lawn Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, Racine County, Wisconsin, next to Jack Tim's mother Katherine and brother Franklin Dan "Bolivar" O'Connor.
Bertha Birdie Larson O'Connor Margaret John Timothy Jack Tim Roy Brush Sr. Charles Charlie Katherine Jean Bema Bruce Danny Sullivan Jr. Shirley Jean Ball Kathryn Mike
A family outing. Back row: Birdie, Margaret Frances (Van Wormer) O'Connor, Jack Tim, Roy Lester Brush Sr.
Middle row: Charles Edward "Charlie" O'Connor, Bema
Front row: Roy Edward "Buster" Brush, Daniel M. "Danny" Sullivan Jr. [possibly], Shirley Jean (O'Connor) Ball, and Kathryn Jean "Mike" (O'Connor) Brush

Jack Tim and Birdie's Find A Grave memorials are #95641556 and #95641567.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Arvella (Gauslin) Guse & Carl Guse

Arvella Gauslin Carl Guse Chicago Illinois
Arvella C. (Gauslin) Guse (1907-1970) and her husband Carl Emil Friedrick Guse (1905-1987). Arvella was my grandmother's half-sister, and therefore my great-aunt.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Katherine "Bema" (Bruce) O'Connor

Katherine Jean Bema Bruce O'Connor Racine Wisconsin Katherine Jean Bema Bruce O'Connor Racine Wisconsin

Katherine Jean Bema Bruce O'Connor Racine Wisconsin
Katherine "Bema" O'Connor
Today's tombstone belongs to my great-great-grandmother, Katherine Jean "Bema" (Bruce) O'Connor. Bema was born January 31, 1872 in Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota and died July 4, 1960 in Mount Pleasant, Racine County, Wisconsin. Katherine's nickname came from one of her grandchildren who had difficulty saying "grandma," so they said "bema" instead.

Bema's parents were Franklin Bruce and Anna (Connor) Bruce, of Irish and German heritage. She had five siblings and one half-sister. Bema's husband was John Timothy O'Connor, and he passed away in 1924, thirty-six years before his wife. Bema and John had nine children: Charles Edward "Charlie" O'Connor, John Timothy "Jack Tim" O'Connor Sr., Anna Katherine "Annie" (O'Connor) Novine Glidden, Emily Etta (O'Connor) Thielen, Robert O'Connor, Dorothy Alice "Toots" (O'Connor) Sullivan, an unnamed son, Kathryn Jean "Mike" (O'Connor) Brush Baker, and Franklin Dan "Bolivar" O'Connor. I've always thought there were some interesting nicknames in this family.

Last week, I posted about Bema's son Bolivar, who is buried next to her at West Lawn Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, along with another of her sons, Jack Tim, and his wife Bertha J. "Birdie" (Larson) O'Connor. Bema's husband is, as I learned this week, buried at Calvary Cemetery in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. Just like Bolivar's, the grass was trying to swallow Bema's headstone before my father and I rescued it, as you can see in the two photos above.

One thing I've noticed in a lot of photos of Bema I've seen are her fabulous hats, so I've made sure to include one below. There are those ancestors that you really wish you had been able to know, and for me Bema is one of them.

Katherine Jean Bema Bruce O'Connor Racine Wisconsin Dorothy Toots Sullivan Emily Thielen Annie Novine
Bema and her daughters. From left to right, Toots, Emily, Bema, and Annie.
Bema's Find A Grave memorial is #95641723.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - June (Gauslin) Daft and siblings

My grandmother June Eunice (Gauslin) Daft (1926-2017) with her siblings. June is the baby, the others from left to right are Fermal Ida "Fern" (Gauslin) Krahn Elmore (1921-1994), Pelagia Olive "Peg" (Gauslin) Christopherson (1917-2004), and Howard Alto "Alto" Gauslin (1923-1931).
Happy birthday, Grandma!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Franklin "Bolivar" O'Connor

Franklin Bolivar O'Connor Racine Wisconsin
 Franklin Bolivar O'Connor Racine Wisconsin

Franklin Dan "Bolivar" O'Connor was my great great uncle, the uncle of my grandfather. Bolivar was born November 28, 1912 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin, and died November 27, 1930, at his mother's home in Racine, one day short of his eighteenth birthday. Bolivar's parents were John Timothy O'Connor and Katherine Jean "Bema" (Bruce) O'Connor. He was the youngest of John and Katherine's ten children, and was named after Katherine's father Franklin Bruce. One of Bolivar's older sisters was Emily Etta (O'Connor) Thielen, my great-grandmother.

Bolivar is buried at West Lawn Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, Racine County, Wisconsin, next to his mother Katherine, brother John Timothy "Jack Tim" O'Connor Sr., and sister-in-law Bertha J. "Birdie" (Larson) O'Connor.

The first photo above was taken about two weeks ago, at the end of May 2013, after my dad and I removed grass that was growing over Bolivar and Katherine's graves. The second photo was taken in August 2012, and it shows how much of the marker was covered with grass. Below is a photo of Bolivar from my grandparents' collection.

Franklin Bolivar O'Connor Racine Wisconsin

Bolivar's Find A Grave memorial is #95641738.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Opening notes

Before I get into the meat of what this blog is going to be, I just wanted to leave a few notes here.

For all people's names I use on this blog, I'm using the following format for their first appearance: First Middle "Nickname" (Maiden) Surname. To use someone whose name will be appearing in tomorrow's post as an example, one of my great-great-grandmothers was Katherine Jean "Bema" (Bruce) O'Connor. After I write out someone's full name, I'll use their first name or nickname for the rest of the post, so my example person becomes Katherine or Bema.

Spelling variations are common, especially when you look at older records, so I'll try to explain them if they involve the central person of my post, otherwise I'll probably just pick the most common spelling. To use my example person again, Katherine's first name was sometimes spelled Catherine, and her middle name was sometimes given as Jane.

For place names in the United States, I use the format City, County, State for the first appearance. For subsequent mentions of the same place name in each post, I use only the city name.

I try my best to apply this same format to other countries, so places in Denmark are City, Municipality, Region, Denmark, and places in Germany are City, District, State, Germany. I've chosen to use the modern administrative boundaries and names.

To keep things consistent, dates will be in the format Month Date, Year, with the month fully written out and the date in numerals.

Living people:
I don't intend to write about living family members in order to protect their privacy (although you'd be surprised what's already out there online about all of us). I might mention names here and there where it's relevant, but that's all.

That's all I can think of for now, so please check back tomorrow for my first real genealogy post.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Welcome to the very first post of this blog. I've been meaning to start blogging about my genealogy adventures for a while now, so I'm glad to finally get started. Thanks to my grandpa for the blog title!