On the search . . . .

For many years now I've been searching my past in an endeavor to unfold the tales of my family. I've traveled (via the internet) to England, Denmark, Norway, Ohio, Nebraska, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. I've spent time personally visiting historic Boston and their wonderful cemeteries and, or course, visited my ancestors right here in California. My ancestors have touched the world in many places... and I hope to enjoy some of their experiences. I want you to join me as I travel through my past... and uncover their stories..

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011 had a Cemetery Theme

     On Christmas day I visited my Mom's site in Forest Lawn Glendale.  I brushed some of the leaves away and trimmed the grass around her.  I found a couple pinecones attached to strong stems so I pushed them in the ground as if to make an arrangement at her headstone.  I'm sure she liked it.
     I find cemeteries very peaceful and a quiet place where you can reflect on all the lives around you.  I think about all the people there ... and wonder what their lives were like .. what their experiences where.  Is it because I'm just nosey? Or is it truly because I want to know about their life experiences?  I think the latter. What were their triumphs and struggles? What did they excel at? Were they wealthy or poor?  Everyone has a story.  I had my camera with me and I took a few pictures of headstones.. some had the same family name as mine (although not in our family) and some were  just random shots.  I left the cemetery near closing and the sun was setting.  I said my goodbye's to Mom and let her know I'd be back soon.
Ran across this stone on my walk
     Yesterday, two days after Christmas, I went to a cemetery closer to my home.  I had recently discovered that I have family buried there.  Well.. not family that I ever met.. but I did meet their brother and son (my great uncle).  I had the numbers of where they were located and stopped by the cemetery office to get a map.  The gentleman there mapped it out for me and told me where I could find them. So I headed out to find my relatives that I never met.  I walked, asked the grounds keepers, and walked some more.  I had my camera with me and took some more random shots of headstones. I saw a young couple sitting at a grave site that was decorated with Christmas decorations... they were in the children's section.  I could only imagine the sadness they must be feeling. I continued to walk on in search for my four relatives.  The area which I thought they should be was an open grassy area so I figured they couldn't afford headstones.  I found that odd because I thought of that side of the family as not being poor.  But I finally gave up and left for home. I still enjoyed my day at the cemetery.
     When home I went on to the computer and searched again, online, for their grave markers. Unbelievably I found pictures of two of them online. So they were there!  They were very large headstones like monuments.  How did I miss them?  I was concentrating more on lawn grave markers so I must have walked past them.  I will go out to that cemetery again soon and see if I can find them.  This time I hope I'm successful. 

Warm Regards,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marie Rasmussen ~ My Grand Aunt

I remember Marie well - we all called her "Auntie".   A short lady, sweet as could be, and never married.  She was born in Independence, Ohio in 1894 (9 miles south of Cleveland). I don't know if the family lived in Independence for a time or she was just born in that city and the family had always lived in Cleveland.  I have regrets ... when she was alive... and I visited her ..  that I didn't ask her more about her past.  What I would give to sit with Auntie again and hear her stories.  Most of what I know of her is from searching through census records.  This is what I know  ....

Both of her parents, Andreas and Anna Rasmussen were born and raised in Denmark.  They came to the United States and originally settled in Independence or Cleveland Ohio. I was told by Auntie's sister, Margaret (my other Grand Aunt) that the Dr advised their Father Andreas to leave Ohio due to the harsh winters.  So the family relocated to California.

When Auntie was 16 yrs, and living in Cleveland, she worked as a seamstress in an umbrella factory. Then ten years later, in 1920, Auntie is working as a telephone operator for the phone company and living at home with her family - her Mom Anna, Dad Andreas and siblings Minnie, Robert, Margaret, Edna May and Alice. Also living there were Nels and Frank Monsen, her uncles from Denmark. In 1930, when Auntie was 36 yrs, she worked as a waitress and was still living at home, in Los Angeles, with her Mom and Dad and siblings. Auntie died in 1982, she was 88 years.  She's at Inglewood Cemetery in Los Angeles.

It appears she's never lived on her own.  Even in death she's with her Mom and Dad. 

Warm Regards,

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Great Great Grandfather Sheridan W. Dean ~ Civil War Veteran

I've been searching many branches of my family and today I focused on my Great Great Grandfather ~ Sheridan W. Dean. I'm still wondering what the "W" stands for... hopefully I'll find out soon. But what I did discover is that he served in the Civil War!    He was born in Bucks Co.,1844, in the State of Pennsylvania and at the time of his death he resided at 102 Center St., Germantown. His regular occupation was as a Coach Painter.  

Comrade Sheridan W. Dean  enlisted September, 1862, as a private in Co. F, 31st Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, and was discharged as a private in same Company June 1863. He joined Ellis Post, No. 6, G.A.R., July 14, 1881. Died April 21st, 1908 aged 64 years, 11 mos. 3 days.

Mystery to solve . . . what does "W" stand for?

Warm Regards,