Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter

Easter was one of few times during the year that our family would go to church.  Easter also meant that I usually got a new dress to wear to church, sometimes with a new Easter bonnet and gloves.  Mom made most of our clothes and she often made me and my sister  matching dresses.  In the photo below, we are standing in front of my Great-grandma Wilson's home in Cortez, Colorado.

Easter 1959

Favorite Easter Memory 

One of my favorite Easter memories was with Maymie and Elmer.  I was traveling with Maymie and Elmer  from Cortez to Yuma and we had stopped in Holbrook, Arizona to spend the night.  We stayed in an old hotel in the middle of town on main street.  Our room was up a tall set of wooden stairs.  Since the next day was Easter, I was concerned that the Easter Bunny would not find me.  Grandma Maymie assured me that he could find me no matter where I was.  To my delight the Easter Bunny did manage to find where I was staying and left an Easter Basket full of goodies in the hotel room.

 As we were leaving our room and walking down the wooden stairs, Maymie bent down and picked up something that was on a stair tread.  She then explained, "See what the Easter Bunny dropped!  It's his pencil - look at all his tooth marks on it."

Maymie then handed me the Easter Bunny pencil with his tooth marks all over it. I was so excited to have a pencil that had actually belonged to the Easter Bunny🐰.  I loved that pencil even more than the Easter Basket full of Easter goodies! 

Least Favorite Easter Memory
This happened one Easter when living in Yuma, Arizona.  While reaching for an Easter egg hidden down in some tall grass, I was bitten by a scorpion - a small lighter colored scorpion.  My hand and wrist became swollen and painful, and I was quite sick for a bit.  I remember laying on the sofa and icing my hand and arm for what seemed like days.  After that unfortunate incident, I was a bit more careful of where I placed my hand. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Anle Theatre in Cortez, Colorado

I've always loved going to a movie theater and watching a movie on the big screen while munching on  fresh popped corn πŸŽ₯🍿.  

When I was growing up, Cortez only had one theater - the Anle Theatre on Main Street.  A theater has been at the same location at 23 W Main Street in Cortez for as long as I can remember.  

While going through some mementos, I found an interesting bit of history.  It was a movie schedule for December 1963.  It brought back a lot of memories of going to see movies in the old Anle Theatre during the 1950's and 1960's.  The theater changed names by the late 1960's to the Fiesta Theatre.  And, 
I'm sure the theater has been updated and remodeled over the years.  Wonder if there is still a balcony along the back of the theater?  

Anle Theatre Movie Schedule Dec 1963

On the bottom right-hand corner is a notice for the Arroyo Drive-In.  It was just north of town and only opened on week-ends and warmer months.  Interesting reminder on the top right-hand corner to "Attend the Church Of Your Choice Every Sunday".  

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Bobby the Bobcat

Several years ago, I posted a blog story called, Old Man Taylor and the Bobcat.  This previous blog article was about a man my family called "Old Man Taylor" and his pet bobcat.  Taylor camped in a shack along the banks of the Colorado River outside of Yuma, Arizona in the early 1950s. My grandfather and father would stop and visit with Taylor when they would go fishing at the river.  My grandfather took photos of Taylor and his bobcat during his visits to the river.  
It appears there was more for me to find about “Old Man Taylor and his Bobcat”🐯…

The Rest of the Story

At the time I wrote the article, I wondered what Old Man Taylor's full name was and if the bobcat had a name.  Thanks to a recently found 1954 news article in the Yuma Sun Newspaper, I now know both.  The bobcat's name is -- Bobby.  

Bobby the Bobcat

Yuma Sun newspaper, Yuma, Arizona, 20 Jan 1954

Our Family Photos of Bobby the Bobcat 

Taylor holding Cathy, Bobby the Bobcat, Leroy 1954

Bobby looks like he is smiling for the camera
(cropped and colorized)

The 1954 newspaper article, which I found on a new newspaper website, also gives the full name of Old Man Taylor -- Jack Taylor.  
After doing some research, I was able to find a 1967 death record for a Jack Taylor aged 94 who died in Yuma.  

The Jack Taylor in the death record had been living in a rest home when he died, but there was no personal information on the death record - no parents, no family, no known occupation, no known place of birth, etc.  If  our “Old Man Taylor” is the Jack Taylor in the death certificate, he would have been 80 years old when the above photos were taken.  I'm not sure the Taylor in the above photos looks 80 years old??  What do you think??  Just like the death record, the obituary does not contain much information.  
Yuma Sun newspaper, Yuma, AZ, 14 Aug 1967

To see more photos and read the original post, go to:  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

RootsTech 2024

 RootsTech 2024

You can choose how to attend - In Person or Online.  If you are not able to attend in-person in Salt Lake City, RootsTech is still being offered as a full virtual conference experience.  

I have been attending RootsTech since it's inception.  After 30+ years of working on my family history, I still learn something new and helpful every time I attend RootsTech.  There are over 200 classes taught by industry experts.  The list of presenters teaching classes includes top family history experts from around the world covering topics related to genealogy and DNA.  

The in-person experience is funπŸ˜ƒ and informative🧐.  I love the connections to other attendees and to industry experts.  The large Expo Hall is my favorite place to visit during RootsTech, with all of my favorite genealogy vendors: Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilySearch, FamilyTreeDNA, GEDmatch, AmericanAncestors, and many more.   

Keynote speakers are always inspiring.  This year is no exception with Kristin Chenoweth, Lynne M Jackson, Henry Cho, Nancy Borowick, Katie James, and more.

In Person registration is $109 and Online registration is FREE. 
Click Here to Register In-Person 
Click Here to Register Online

RootsTech 2024  

Relatives at RootsTech 2024

A few days ago, I received an email from FamilySearch.  According to the email, FamilySearch had found 66,245 cousins through Relatives at RootsTech 2024.  That's ten times more people than the population of the city I live in😲  I thought my 51 first cousins that I personally know were a lot, but 66,245 cousins might be a bit much.  I'd hate to plan the next reunion for that many cousins!!

Email from FamilySearch

When I clicked on the above "See Cousins" link in the email, I was taken to the FamilySearch webpage that stated 15,476 of my relatives had joined Relatives at RootsTech.  Although a much smaller amount, still way too many cousins to plan a reunion for.😞

After clicking on the "View Relatives" button above, I was taken to the RootsTech Relatives webpage. 

I can view my closest 300 (of 15,476 so far) relatives by 
Location, Ancestor, or Family Line.  By clicking on By Ancestor, a drop down list of all ancestors with matches can be found.  By clicking on the name of the ancestor, I can see the matches to that ancestor and their relationship to me.😊

The tab for searching By Family Line has a drop down menu listing parents and grandparents, and how many matches are related to each of those line.  My German paternal grandfather has has only 134 matches on his lines, whereas my paternal grandmother, with roots going back to Colonial America, has 10,120 matches on her lines.  Last year, I was able to open up a whole branch on my German lines with the help of Relatives at RootsTech.  

Relatives at RootsTech 2024 will only be available until March 31, 2024, then will be turned off until the next RootsTech.  Don't miss out on the cousin connections you could make.

Information about Relatives at RootsTech:

Friday, February 16, 2024

Valentine Cards

 Valentine Cards

According to Wikipedia, Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day,  is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring a martyr named Valentine, and through later folk traditions it has also become a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

Valentine's Day customs—sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"), offering confectionery (mainly chocolates), and presenting flowers—developed in early modern England and spread throughout the English-speaking world in the 19th century, and have continued to the present day. 

Valentine cards can be made by hand or purchased commercially.  In recent years,
e-cards have become  popular.  
I much prefer the traditional Valentine cards and have tried to keep the cards given to me from though-out my life.  Chocolates don't last long because they get eaten, although I do have an ornate heart-shaped chocolate box πŸ’ from 1972.  And flowers wilt, but I do have roses I dried and saved from past years.  

Cards are my one of my favorite parts of Valentine's Day, mainly because they are easy to keep and so fun to look at years later.  Below is a collection of some cards given to me by my husband from our 50+ years of marriage.

Collection of cards given
to me by my husband

Instead of a traditional Valentine card, this year I received a pile of
puzzle pieces in a purple envelope?!?

After putting the pieces of the puzzle together, a message from my husband was foundπŸ’• 


Below are some favorite Valentines from past years.
Which is your favorite?

 Card from 1972

Cute Valentine from the 1950's

1934 fold-out Valentine
From family card collection

1910's vintage Valentine Cards
From family card collection

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Love Stories

 Our Family Love Stories

When I think of family love stories, the first ancestral couple that comes to mind are my maternal grandparents, Jess and Mabel Baldwin.  But, as I have researched my family lines, I feel that most of my direct line grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. had marriages based on love and friendship.

πŸ’•Jess Baldwin and Mabel LeffelπŸ’•

Jesse Baldwin and Mabel Leffel were married on Christmas Day 1917 in Mountain Park, Oklahoma. They stayed married until Jess passed away in 1972 - almost 55 years.  Grandpa Jess said it was love at first sight on his part.  He first saw grandma standing next to a field with her cousin Della.  The sun was shining on her hair and he thought she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  

Jess and Mabel loved each other and loved their family.  They were the parents of fourteen (14) children and grandparents of 46 (50 including step-grandchildren) and great-grandparents of about 89. 

Jess, Mabel, and children 1967
50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration
Montrose, Colorado

πŸ’•Charles Wilson and Pearl HatfieldπŸ’•

Charles B. Wilson and Pearl Hatfield met at dance in Estell, Oklahoma in 1902.  Pearl was sixteen years old and Charles B. was twenty-six years old - ten years older.  On December 4, 1902, the local newspaper (Renfrew's Record of Alva, Oklahoma) reported that their marriage license had been issued.  They married on Dec 14th, 1902 at the home of Pearl's parents, Martin and Nancy Hatfield.

Marriage License Issued

Wedding Day 
B & Pearl sitting in buggy

Charles B. and Pearl Wilson were married for 49 years, until B's death on December 16, 1951.  They were the parents of eight children, the two youngest children died while young.  During the first ten years of their married life, the Wilsons traveled in a covered wagon around Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico.  In 1915, they finally settled down near the Utah/Colorado border, first near Monticello, Utah then in Bug Point near Dove Creek, Colorado.  Eventually they would moved to Cortez, Colorado the last few years of B's life.

In 1936, Pearl traveled from Colorado to her sister's home in Wyoming to visit their mother who was gravely ill.  After Pearl had been gone from home for a several weeks, daughter Maymie who lived near her father Charles, wrote the following in a letter to her sister in Oklahoma.  

1936 Maymie's Letter Excerpt
 "Dad's Lonesome for Mother"

"Mother is still in Wyoming.  Guess she will stay another week.  Grandma is still awful bad.  Mother will come back on the train or bus. 
Dad sure gets lonesome for Mother.  We can't hardly keep him here.  Dad sold his old jersey cow and I & him made out an order for Mother a new dress, hose, slippers, purse, gloves, and hat - it is all Navy Blue but the shoes... 
My we sure miss mother.  But look for her next week."  

I was touched that Great-grandpa Charles loved and missed his wife so much that he sold his jersey cow in order to buy her a gift.  With the help of his daughter Maymie, Charles ordered a gift of new clothes so that Pearl's homecoming would be special.  Kind of reminds me of the story by O. Henry -- The Gift of the Magi.


More love stories from the family will be added in the future.

Baldwin Posts:
Wilson Posts:  

From My Father

 While not a Valentine card, this was given to me by my father as a Valentine token of his love πŸ’• 

Monday, January 15, 2024

John Peery Miller

John Peery Miller
Family Historian

Some of my favorite ancestors are those who were our family's pioneers in family history research.  John Peery Miller and his brother Samuel Miller were the first to do genealogical research for our Miller and Leffel families.  

In 1913, John Peery Miller published the following family history booklet:

"The Genealogy of the Descendants of Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Peery Miller" complied by  their grandson John Peery Miller, Professor of History, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1913.

In the Prefatory Notes (page 7), Miller describes his interest in and reason for writing the history of his grandparents, Frederick and Mary E. Peery Miller.  J. Peery Miller gives credit to his brother Samuel S. Miller for assistance in furnishing the early family history.

John Peery Miller 

John Peery Miller descends from Frederick and Mary E. Miller's son, John Miller (1798-1863) who married Joanna Smith (1806-1891).   John Peery was born 7 May 1847 in Bethel, Clark County, Ohio.  He was a veteran of the Civil War.   After the war, John entered Antioch College in Ohio.  For thirty-three years he was a Professor of History at the Antioch College.  John Peery died at the age of 90 years old in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Below is the information of his wife and children he included in his Miller genealogy.

J. Peery Miller Obituary

Information from the Miller book on the
Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Peery Miller Family

Our family descends through Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Miller's oldest daughter, Mary Miller, who married Anthony Leffel.  Their second daughter Elizabeth Miller married James P. Leffel, the brother to Anthony Leffel.   John Peery Leffel was a first cousin to our ancestor David Miller Leffel (son of Anthony and Mary Miller Leffel).

Frederick Miller (1760-1822) and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Peery (1769-1844), were both raised in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. After their marriage, they migrated to the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Their seven children were born in Botetourt County, Virginia, 1789-1811. The family migrated to Clark County, Ohio in 1818. Frederick bought a quarter section, containing forty acres of cleared land, located in Bethel township, six miles west of Springfield.
Frederick Miller died during the construction of their house in Clarke County in 1822. Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Miller are buried in the Bethel Cemetery, Bethel Township, Clark County, Ohio.  

Frederick and Elizabeth were the parents of  seven (7) children: 
  1. Mary 1789-1850, md Anthony Leffel - 10 children,
  2. Henry 1791-1866, md (1)Charity Vantassel - 2 children, (2)Sarah Beaty - 1 child,  
  3. Elizabeth 1796-1874, md James P Leffel - 7 children,  
  4. John 1798-1863, md Joanna Smith  - 12 children, 
  5. Daniel 1802-1878, md Elizabeth Neff  - 11 children,
  6. David 1805-1867, md Sarah Smith - 10 children, 
  7. Delilah 1811-1863, md William Gordon - 12 children

Miller Posts: 
Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Peery Miller    

Miller Homestead, Clark County, Ohio  
Bethel Cemetery in Clark County, Ohio  

**Note: A scanned copy of the Miller book in it's entirety is available on  Click on the Search tab, then Books, and then search for Frederick Miller. 

Other pioneer genealogical researchers in our family:
Alta Sherrard Waugh - Weiss Family History  
Charles E Hatfield - Hatfield Family Record 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Most Popular Posts of 2023

 There were thirty-three family history stories posted during the 2023 year on clmroots.  The number one spot of the 2023 posts with the most views was about Joseph West, an early stagecoach driver from Indiana. 

In the list below, the top10 of the 2023 family history posts are shown in order of popularity. 

  1. Stagecoach Driver 
  2. 1950's Cowboys  
  3. Find A Grave 
  4. Desert Rose  
  5. Yuma County Sheriff's Dept 1959   
  6. Marriage for Nathan Cole and Anna M Goble 
  7. Dove Creek, Colorado 
  8. Hatfield Family Record     
  9. James Wilson in Jail 
  10. Yuma City Policeman 

Below are some of the most visited posts during the 2023 year from all the previous years. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

St George Temple


Several months ago I had the opportunity of going through the St George Utah Temple open house.  The St George Temple is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' longest running temple and the first temple completed in Utah in 1877.  After an extensive renovation of the 146 year old temple, there was an open house for the general public last fall.  

It was an amazing experience to attend the temple open house.  Our family has a long ago history with the St George Temple through our 2nd great-granduncle, Thomas Box.  As I walked through the temple open house, I felt like I was walking in the footsteps of one of our ancestors.  The St George Temple is the oldest building still standing that I have been inside of that one of ancestors had also visited during their lifetime.  

Thomas Box was the brother of our 2nd great-grandfather, Grief Johnson Box.  While living in Texas in 1856, Thomas and his wife, Clarkey, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  The next year in 1857, the Thomas Box family migrated to Utah.  Thomas and Clarkey Box soon became interested in temple and family history work.  In 1878, Thomas Box started doing temple work for his deceased relatives in the St George Temple.  It is from the early temple records of Thomas Box and Clarkey Carpenter Box that the relationships for many of the Box and Carpenter families has been established.  

To read about Thomas and Clarkey Box, click here

St George Temple 1877

St George Utah Temple info:

Monday, January 1, 2024

A Happy New Year

 A Happy New Year
From 1909

This Happy New Year's Post Card was sent from A.H. (Alfred Hatfield) to his sister, Mrs. Ray Smith (Lillie Hatfield) in 1909.  The card was embossed so it was difficult to write on and a little difficult to read.  The card has a One-Cent Benjamin Franklin postage stamp.

New Year's Post Card Back

Dec 22, 1909

Mrs. Ray R. Smith
Sidney, Nebr. Box 331

Dear Sister, I will send you this post and wising you a Happy N.Y. and wishing a Merry  Xmas as well.  I can not write much on this so By By.  Ans soon, A.H.

Sideways on top left:
Lillie if you get these cards write and tell me for they are so rough that I can't hardly write on them. Good By.

Lillie Hatfield, daughter of Martin and Nancy Hatfield, married Ray Ruggles Smith on June 7th, 1905 in Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma.  About 1907, the young couple moved to Sidney, Nebraska and lived there until around 1916-1917.  Lillie and her husband Ray were living in Montana in 1918.
According to the 1910 US Federal Census, Alfred Hatfield was living at home with his parents in Woodward County, Oklahoma.  The Hatfield family moved from Oklahoma to Dove Creek, Colorado by 1916.

Posts about the Hatfield family:

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merrie Merrie Christmas

 Merrie Merrie Christmas

This Christmas Post Card was from Nancy Hatfield (1860-1946) to her great-grandson LeRoy Martin.  Nancy would have given it to LeRoy in about 1940 or before.  She was living in Dove Creek, Colorado at the time and LeRoy was living nearby in Cortez, Colorado.  The card is at least 80+ years old.  The spelling of Merrie is interesting - I don't think I have seen that spelling used on a Christmas card before.  

The only picture I can find with both Grandma Hatfield and LeRoy is the following Wilson Family photo.  LeRoy is standing right in the middle between his Great-Grandmother Nancy Hatfield and his Grandmother Pearl Wilson.  They are standing just behind the children sitting on the porch. LeRoy is goofing off by poking out his tummy.  Grandma Nancy Hatfield is standing to the right of LeRoy wearing a little black cap on her head. 
Wilson Family Gathering

The Charles B. Wilson family gathering photo.  The date is unknown but was probably taken around 1939-1941.  If anyone has an exact date, please leave the date in comments.
Back row from left to right:
Wilber, John, Inez, Buck, Maymie, Charles B, Pearl Hatfield Wilson, LeRoy goofing off in front, great-grandma Nancy Hatfield standing to the right of LeRoy.  Anna, Jenny, & Mary standing in the back and to the far right - Mr. Graffie and Cora Rose Graffie.
Not sure who all the younger children sitting in front belong to.

Christmas Greetings from 1960

 Christmas Greetings

This vintage 1960 Christmas Card was from my mom to my dad.  The card shows a cute Victorian couple in a one-horse open sleigh.  My parents married on December 16, 1950, so 1960 would have been the anniversary of their 10th Christmas together as husband and wife. And, that makes this Christmas card sixty-three years old this year.  The card is a folding card which gives it a three dimensional effect when folded out. 
The verse inside reads:

To My Husband
I always love you, Darling,
Every day throughout the year,
But our love seems still more wonderful
When Christmas time is here. 

To LeRoy from Verna, 1960

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Stagecoach Christmas Cards

One of my favorite "Family History Finds" this past year was an obituary for my 2nd great-granduncle, Joseph J. West.  The obituary mentioned that Joseph West had been "one of the best and most trusted stage drivers in the country".  To find out more about Joseph West and read his obituary, click here

Joseph J West Obituary

Stagecoach Christmas Cards

While going through some of my "old" Christmas Cards, I found several cards that had stagecoaches instead of sleighs.  I love that the cards remind me of our 2nd great-granduncle Joseph West.  And, I love the colors and details of each of the cards.  The detail of the stagecoach, passengers, and horses is just amazing.  The bottom card reminds me of a woodblock Arts and Crafts print.  The snow and colors look as if it was applied by hand painting.  These cards are probably from the 1910s - 1920s.  

Related Post:

Friday, December 22, 2023

My Christmas Wishes

My Christmas Wishes

I have a Christmas wish list to give to Santa -- It's a Family History Wish List.  I've been a good girl so hopefully Santa can deliver.πŸŽ…πŸŽ„
  • DNA🧬 from my 8 great-grandparents - I'd would even be thrilled with DNA from my four grandparents!
  • Maiden names for three of my 3rd great-grandmothers: Martha Ann, Jane, Rebecca.
  • Restoration of  records of the burnt Limestone County, Texas courthouse.
  • Marriage records for James Wilson and wife Martha, William Baldwin and wife Jane, Michael Box and wife Mary Fulcher, and Samuel Medlin and wife Rebecca.
  • Restoration of the destroyed 1890 Federal Census

One Horse Open Sleigh

Dashing through the snow,
In a one horse open sleigh. 

I've colorized the photo of my paternal grandfather, Elmer Martin, in his one-horse open sleigh.  This picture would have been taken about 1913 at Elmer's home in Rock Island, Illinois.  Below the photo is a 1913 newspaper article referring to Elmer and his cutter sleigh.  The Sam Love mentioned in the newspaper was Elmer's cousin.

Elmer in his one-horse open sleigh

Wonder who their "best girls" were??

Elmer Martin blog posts: 
Maymie and Elmer 
Elmer Climbed Mount Rainier 
Elmer Martin's Prize Winning Potatoes 
Shaving Mugs 
Martin Family Tree