It's my genealogy blog, version 2.0, where I tell stories about our famous (and infamous) ancestors- our unsung heroes, our common man, our ordinary people who did extraordinary things- for our children. "[H]istorians talk about events of the past…[r]arely do we talk about the common man, the unsung hero. These people, many times, are unknown to us. All those people’s story mattered just as much as the stories of the great leaders. It’s easy to lose track of all those individuals but they’re there and they deserve to be remembered. One of the great lessons of history, all history, is that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. [T]hey are doing something not just for themselves, but for posterity. For their children." (Author unknown to me) Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (The Holy Bible)
So many changes are coming! I’m opening up a shop! The new name of the website is now the name of my business – Honeysuckle Farm, LLC. The blog will remain and will keep the name Days of Our Lives. I named it that because my paternal grandmother and great grandmother (Audrey and Bess) were always watching soap operas when I was little and when I talk about my blog I always think of them. What can I say? I’m a sentimental person.
I’m attempting to point my Shopify shop here. I have no idea what I’m doing so bear with me! I’m figuring it out as fast as I can. I’m hoping that connecting the shop will help me centralize everything. We’ll see… I only have a free trial of Shopify so if it doesn’t work out I’ll have to figure out something else so changes may continue for a month or two while I get it together. For now, you can view my shop items on the Collections page. Once you arrive there, you can click on the titles under each picture to go to each collection although I will tell you that the only one with products listed right now is the Family History Collection. There are only a couple of items listed right now due to the amount of time it’s taking me to learn the new software and get the information online.
Thanks for your understanding and for sticking with me through these changes. I’ll get back to blogging soon. I forget how insanely busy the last few weeks of the school year are but we’re almost there – just two more weeks and then I can focus just on my shop and my blog (and Cousin Camp because YAY- 2021 Cousin Camp is coming at the end of June!!!).
While you’re waiting on me to pull myself together, here are a few pics of one of my absolute favorite places and a place I took the boys for their Cousin Camp field trip a couple of years ago. It was one of my favorite field trip days with the boys.
If you get a chance to visit Saline Courthouse, go! And while you’re in the area, try to find the Cherokee Nation Buffalo ranch and visit the Buffalo. Here’s a website to get you started. https://www.visitcherokeenation.com/attractions/saline-courthouse-museum. You can view inside the courthouse with that link but it doesn’t do justice to the location. Make time to go there!
It’s time for a Mother’s Day sale! DO NOT wait until the last minute on this gift option. This is the perfect gift for moms who “have it all”.
$35 per story if you can provide me with about 4-5 generations of your ancestors (that’s back to great or great-great grandparents). I don’t have to have every single name but I will need a majority of the names/info. You will get a digital story that is password protected so that only you and those to whom you give the password can read it. (You can choose to make it public if you prefer.) For an additional $2 you can choose to get a print copy of the story which will come printed on beautiful linen, cotton or parchment paper.
I can do your pedigree chart for you back to great or great-great grandparents PLUS write the story. The cost is $50 for this option. You will receive a digital copy of your pedigree chart PLUS a digital story that is password protected so that only you and those to whom you give the password can read it. (You can choose to make it public if you prefer.) For an additional $3 you can choose to get a print copy of the story and the pedigree chart which will come printed on beautiful linen, cotton or parchment paper.
Once I receive (or have researched and compiled) your pedigree chart I will look at the backgrounds of a number of your ancestors and choose one with an interesting history to write about. I don’t mind if you tell me who you’d like me to write about, but be aware I may not be able to fulfill your request. I will do my best to fulfill specific requests whenever possible.
I’m looking forward to working with you to create a special gift for someone you love!
This is going to be a short post. The theme this week is ‘brick wall’. I’m going to highlight a problem line from my husband’s family tree. I’m writing about his paternal 2nd great grandparents, Samual and Malinda (KAYLE) WILLIAMS. Since Samual’s father was also named Samuel and I’ll be mentioning them both, I’ll be calling the older one Samuel Sr. and then calling the younger one (the actual subject of this post) Samual. I’m spelling their names as I found them on records. Another caveat: I’m not entirely sure Malinda’s last name is KAYLE but it’s the only lead I have in regard to her maiden name. ‘Samual Williams’ is a popular name so as you can imagine, making headway is very difficult. I have my own Samuel WILLIAMS (unrelated to his) who stumped me for years and still is somewhat a mystery to me.
Samual WILLIAMS was born between 1850 and 1854 probably in Hancock County, Illinois (but also possibly in Missouri- I really don’t know). I believe his parents were Samuel Sr. and Nancy Ann (MONROE) WILLIAMS. I believe that Samual’s father died when Samual was very young. I believe by age 10 (and possibly well before that – maybe as young as age 2), Samual was already an orphan.
While writing this blog post, I’ve discovered a new family tree on Ancestry that looks to be Samual’s parents and a brother I was unaware of. Below is a photo from that family tree of a man I believe may be Samual’s brother. The man is Jay Williams and he’s on the far left. If you belong to my husband’s WILLIAMS family and you see a family resemblance please be sure to let me know in the comments section below.
Malinda Kayle Williams
Malinda KAYLE was born between 1854 and 1856 in Arkansas. I don’t know who her parents are. I believe she also died at a fairly young age and probably before her children were grown.
Mr. and Mrs. Samual Williams
Samual and Malinda were married in August of 1870 in Izard County, Arkansas. Together they had 4 known children – William, Walter, George, and Dee Barton. There was possibly also a 5th child but I’m not sure. (Dee Barton is my husband’s great grandfather.) I don’t know the death dates or burial places for Samual or Malinda (KAYLE) WILLIAMS.
I would absolutely love for someone to help me break through this brick wall. If you have information about this family or you think you have a connected WILLIAMS family please contact me and let me know. I hope you have a great week!
Yesterday I received a call and a message on my work phone from a woman I’ve never met. Only, I didn’t know I’d received a call or a message. Yesterday was crazy busy at school and then I stayed after school to work concessions at the basketball homecoming game so I didn’t get home until maybe 9:00 or 9:30. This morning I didn’t go in to work because I had a doctor appointment. So about 12:30-ish this afternoon I stepped into my office for the first time in almost 24 hours. As soon as I entered my office, my phone started ringing. I picked up the phone and found myself speaking to Elizabeth. She introduced herself and explained that she was looking for the Lisa Williams who was related to Ray Keeter. I told her I didn’t recognize the name but maybe if she told me a little of her story I might recognize who she was talking about. It turns out I didn’t recognize the name but I was touched because Elizabeth had a painting that had come out of her father’s office and she felt it needed to be returned to the painter’s family so they could love, enjoy, and care for it. Well…you guys know me. I was hooked! I told her I would help her find the family if I could. So at the end of the day when things were calm I took a few minutes and found a family member of Ray Keeter- his granddaughter, Lisa. Lisa took care of Ray in his final years- much respect to her! I liked her already! So I called the number I found for Lisa, not knowing if it was really her number or maybe disconnected, etc. As it turned out it was Lisa’s number and she called back within just a few minutes. I explained to her that Elizabeth had called me but I wasn’t the right Lisa and I believed she was the right Lisa. She confirmed she was Ray’s granddaughter so I connected her with Elizabeth. It was momentarily satisfying and fun to be a part of that adventure and I love the thought of Ray’s painting being returned to his family. However, the storyteller in me could not stop thinking about this. So this evening I contacted both Lisa and Elizabeth again and asked if I could tell the story of Elizabeth’s dad and of Lisa’s grandfather Ray.
I’m looking forward to their responses and I’m hoping they agree. Just a sneak peek at Ray Keeter, painter. Ray’s final job was Superintendent at the Nuyaka School System southwest of Beggs, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma. If you know me well, you know my dad was a Superintendent for many years in Oklahoma. The connections don’t stop there but I haven’t heard from Lisa about whether she wants to tell her grandfather’s story so I’ll stop there. You wouldn’t believe how many of these kinds of connections I’ve found with Ray in just a couple of hours. In any case, I’ll close here. When you get the chance to do a good deed this week, do it. Helping others helps you.
Have you ever thought that you’d like to have your own family stories told? If you like the stories I write and you’d like to contract me to write a story for you or a story to give as a gift to someone else, you’re in luck! I’m opening up my services to you. You can contact me to discuss details. Prices will vary based on your request. All stories that I’m hired to write will be password-protected here on my blog unless you decide you want them to be made public.
If you’d like to contract me to write a story about your family, you can leave a comment or send an email through WordPress or Facebook. If you’d like to see the variety of stories I can write, I recommend the following blog posts as examples:
https://honeysuckle-farm.com/2016/03/20/once-upon-a-time/– This story is a little different. It was written about 2 people I know that are related to each other but they don’t know it nor would they want to know it. To keep the peace, people’s identities were kept a secret while the story still got told.
If you have other family history writing projects in mind, feel free to discuss it with me to see if I’m the right writer for your project.
I’m currently working on a big blog post but it’s taking longer than I thought it would so in the meantime I want to write a couple of posts especially for my second and fourth grandsons about their families that aren’t related to me. This post will be about Herman SCHREIBER, Jr.- my son-in-law’s paternal great grandfather and the paternal 2nd great grandfather of my youngest grandson.
As always, we start with the basics. Herman SCHREIBER, Jr. was born 5 May 1886 in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. On 2 August 1911 in Cameron County, Texas, Herman married Vera Annie LAMON. Together they had 6 children. Herman passed away 7 May 1971 in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. He is buried at Buena Vista Cemetery in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas.
Herman’s Parents: Hermann and Margaret and Ruben.
Herman was born to Hermann SCHREIBER, Sr. and Margaret EGLY. Hermann Sr. brought Prussian-German heritage to the marriage. Margaret brought French-Irish heritage to the marriage. Possibly of interest to my son-in-law will be the fact that Hermann Sr. had a brother named August SCHREIBER. That was a meaningful coincidence for me personally. Also of interest to me was Hermann Sr.’s occupation. He was a lighthouse keeper. He was employed at Old Point Isabel Lighthouse off South Padre Island in 1884. His brother-in-law, William EGLY, was the assistant lighthouse keeper. After looking up Old Point Isabel Lighthouse online, I realized that my husband and I and our two children (who were young at the time) had actually seen the lighthouse when we visited South Padre Island years ago- many years before we ever met our son-in-law. I’m loving all these coincidences!
Lucille SCHREIBER BERRY left some much-appreciated family history stories on Ancestry. She said Hermann Sr. died from a burst appendix. This was at a time when doctors were unaware of Appendicitis. Sadly, Hermann suffered greatly before his death. About the lighthouse, Lucille related, “[The lighthouse] is very steep and grandad remembers getting to go to the top of the stairs to get his dad for eating a meal. He was a very young child and he said he scooted up and down.”
At just 2 years of age, Herman lost his dad, Hermann SCHREIBER, Sr. This left Herman Jr’s mom, Margaret EGLY SCHREIBER, alone to raise 3 young children. That was, I’m sure, a scary position for a woman to be in in the year 1888. Although she had more rights in Texas than she would have in other states at this time, she still had very few rights so she would have been largely dependent on the men in her life. Margaret was fortunate to live in Texas in that she could legally maintain ownership of any property she had when she married Hermann. She was legally entitled to share in any wealth or property Hermann gained after the marriage. She was legally entitled to make her own last will and testament and to leave her property to anyone she wanted. If, however, the property they lived on was solely owned by Hermann at the time of his death and he had not willed it to her, she (and any unmarried daughters) would be allowed to live there as long as they wished but she couldn’t own the property herself because, as a widow, she couldn’t legally make or enter into contracts. She wouldn’t be able to vote (or serve on a jury) for another 31 years, but she could hold public office if she could convince enough males to vote for her!
Many widows in 1888 would have chosen to remarry as soon as possible. It made life easier. Margaret did not. I’m sure her French-Irish heritage probably gifted her with a certain amount of stubbornness that contributed to her delay in remarriage. (I can certainly see that French-Irish in my grandson! I love it!) When Margaret remarried 7 years later, she married Ruben Henry WALLIS. Ruben was an Englishman. (Interesting fact about Ruben: his first wife was also named Margaret and his first Margaret was also Irish!) Ruben came to Texas from New Orleans, Louisiana- as did both Hermann and Margaret. Ruben and Margaret did not have children together, however he was a widower who had a young daughter from his previous marriage. Margaret is buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. An interesting fact about Margaret: She was a twin. At the time of her twin sister’s death in 1941, Margaret and her sister were thought to be the oldest set of living twins in Texas. Two years later in 1943, Margaret passed away. I have no photos of Hermann Sr. but I do have one photo of Margaret and two of her sisters. Sadly, I can’t tell you which one is Margaret as the photo wasn’t labeled in any way.
I was searching the internet for photos of the lighthouse from the period that Hermann was the lighthouse keeper and I found this fabulous blog post at Colorized Fotos blog. It not only includes photos of the lighthouse, it includes a beautiful colorized photo of Ruben Henry WALLIS!! I encourage you to go look at it. I learned Ruben WALLIS was a photographer in Brownsville from the 1860’s to at least 1910 (based on both the blog post and census records on Ancestry). If you’re ever out antiquing in the Brownsville area, keep an eye out for Ruben’s photos! The blog post states that Ruben was probably a lighthouse keeper. I haven’t found documentation to support that but it is a possibility. Another interesting find I made was at Lighthouse Friend’s website. They have not only a blog post with some Point Isabel lighthouse history, but also a photo of the Point Isabel lighthouse keeper’s house from 1895. In addition, they list the lighthouse keepers and show that Hermann SCHREIBER (spelled SCHRIBERS on the website) was the lighthouse keeper from 1884-1888. Margaret’s brother, William EGLY, was the assistant lighthouse keeper from 1884-1888 and the lighthouse keeper from 1895-1905. This website does not list Ruben as a lighthouse keeper but I also note there is a large gap of time from 1888-1895 where no lighthouse keeper is named so I haven’t ruled out the possibility that Ruben really was the lighthouse keeper. (There is also a Fred MEYER listed as a lighthouse keeper. MEYER is a surname connected to Margaret EGLY on her mother’s side so possibly he may be related?) One last aside: Bronsbil Estacion blog used at least one of the photos Ruben took plus a photo of Ruben himself in one of their blog posts. You can find it here– the first and second photos (the second is an enlargement of a section of the first photo) in the blog post. The photo of Ruben is the last photo in the blog post.
And Now…Herman SCHREIBER, Jr.
This is not the only photo I’ve seen of Herman but it was the first one I saw. (And notice who the photographer was!!) My immediate thought was how much my grandson resembles his 2nd great grandfather, Herman! I even did a side-by-side comparison. The resemblance is strong!
Herman was a toll bridge collector and a farmer. The best I can tell from my research, there were two toll bridges in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas in 1930- Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge, and the Gateway International Bridge. The Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge opened in December of 1910. The bridge accommodated vehicles and those traveling by foot as well as river traffic. The Gateway International Bridge opened in 1926. It initially accommodated vehicle traffic but in 1999 it was closed to vehicle traffic and now only accommodates foot traffic. You can find some great photos of Gateway International Bridge being built at the Bronsbil Estacion blog. You can find part 1 of the Gateway Bridge blog post here. The one linked in the previous sentence is actually part 2 of the Gateway Bridge post. If you’re interested in Brownsville, Texas history I highly recommend the Bronsbil Estacion blog. If you’re interested in learning more about the Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge, you can check out Nomadic Border’s blog post. As it turns out, Herman’s World War II draft registration card confirms he worked at the Gateway Bridge.
As I researched further, I found a story someone posted on Ancestry that confirmed Herman did work at the Gateway Bridge and why. Here’s the whole story. The photo online had the words going right to the edge so there isn’t anything I can do to fix that- sorry.
Just in case you needed one more proof that Herman worked at/on the Gateway Bridge rather than the Brownsville & Matamoros Bridge, here’s a short piece that appeared in the 13 September 1937 edition of The Brownsville Herald newspaper:
When was the last time you heard the word ‘terpischorean’?? I’m glad Herman had a sense of humor. I think my grandson may have inherited it. Herman was about more than just a little good humor, though. Service to his community and government also seemed to be important to him. Important enough that in 1909 he served in the National Guard and by 1930 he was an ex-officio GOP committee member.
Herman and his wife, Vera Anna Lamon (who went by Annie), were lifetime residents of Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas according to his obituary. His physical description on his World War I draft registration states he was tall, had a slender build, and had blue eyes and light brown hair. Sounds a lot like my son-in-law! My grandson certainly has the genes to be tall and slender. He already has the blue eyes and I’m guessing his now light-colored hair may turn more brown as he grows up.
Herman (now Herman Sr.) and Annie had six children together- Lucille Margaret, Herman Jr., Clifton Melton, Robert Lee, Arthur Raymond, and James R.. Herman Sr (the subject of this blog post) served in the National Guard and was once appointed to guard President Taft! All five of Herman and Annie’s sons served in the military as well. Below is a very nice article in the Brownsville Herald about Herman and his five sons and their combined service to their country. I’ve tried to enlarge it enough that you might be able to read it. If it’s still too hard to read, try going to this PDF link: file:///C:/Users/willi/OneDrive/Documents/Blog/Herman_S__Schreiber_and_his_5_sons__7_June_1945__The_Brownsville_Herald__TX_%20(1).pdf
I hope that you’ve enjoyed getting to know Herman. I know I have. I also hope that one day my grandson becomes a man who exhibits the steadiness and loyalty that seemed to define his 2nd great grandfather Herman.