Archive for January, 2013

For My Sisters

celtic tree of life heart

I’ve been collecting old family photographs for so long, and they’ve become so familiar to me, that I forget that my siblings may not have seen them.   My sister “love, love, loved” the last post  because our mom was just a baby in the family picture, and she’d never seen it before. Sorry Taff.  Here are some more you probably haven’t seen. =)

These photographs are of my mother, Beverly Jean Barrett, and her family when she was a little girl. They gathered on a regular basis  for Christmas and Easter celebrations in Colorado where her paternal grandparents, Harry McWhirter Barrett & Jessie Edwards Barrett, lived.

Harriet Hardaway, Mary Hardaway, Beverly Jean Barrett c1930Harriet Hardaway, Mary Hardaway & Beverly Jean Barrett c 1930

Mary Hardaway, Harriet Hardaway, Jeannie Barrettfront: Harriet Hardaway & Jeannie Barrett, standing: Mary Hardaway, Easter 1933

Beverly Jean Barrett 3 c1935Beverly Jean “Jeannie” Barrett c 1935

Charles McWhirter Barrett Family, Edith, Beverly Jean 1935Charles McWhirter Barrett, Edith Mary Coons Barrett & Beverly Jean Barrett,  Easter 1935

Harry McWhirter Barrett Family 1935l-r back row: Charles McWhirter Barrett, Warren Hardaway, Harry McWhirter Barrett, Jessie Edwards Barrett, Almira Barrett Hardaway, Edith Coons Barrett l-r front row: Harriet Hardaway, Beverly Jean Barret, Mary Hardaway. Easter 1935      

(All Photos Courtesy of  Mary Eylar & Eric Recht)


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Grace Barrett & Guy Roberts

celtic tree of life heart

My great grandfather, Harry McWhirter, was adopted by his aunt Eleanor “Nellie” Blake and her husband Charles S. Barrett in December of 1878 at the age of 9.

Nellie and Charles had already had two children by the time Harry had come to live with them, Grace Eleanor Barrett (1870-19??) and Bessie Ann Barrett (1873-1942)

Gracie grew up, became a kindergarten teacher, and worked in the public school system in Titusville, Crawford, Pennsylvania, from about 1900 to 1909. By 1910 she had moved out west to Denver, Colorado, near her older brother/cousin Harry. She was 40 years old, as yet unmarried, and employed by the Denver public school system as a kindergarten teacher.

I had discovered a few years ago that Gracie had gotten married sometime after 1920, to a gentleman named Guy Halbert Roberts (1880-1970), but did not know the exact wedding date, nor did I have any pictures of either of them.

My cousin, Eric Recht, sent me this photograph of a McWhirter-Barrett Christmas gathering in Denver, Colorado, which took place in December of 1931.

McWhirter-Barrett Family Christmas Gathering Denver, Colorado, 1931l-r back row: Guy Roberts, Jessie E. Barrett, Charles McWhirter-Barrett, Edith C. Barrett, Warren D. Hardaway, l-r middle row: Grace Barrett Roberts, Harry McWhirter-Barrett, Almira Barrett Hardaway, l-r front row: Mary Hardaway, Harriet Hardaway, Beverly Jean Barrett.

When I saw this picture, I remember immediately thinking what incredibly kind faces they had, and that I would have really liked them both.

Grace Barrett Roberts & Guy Roberts, Christmas 1931, Denver, Colorado, United States_edited-1Grace Barrett Roberts & Guy H. Roberts, December 1931, Denver, Denver, Colorado

As I was going through some old newspaper archives online today, I found this wedding announcement for Gracie and Guy in the Denver Post, dated 13 October 1921. It was too good not to share. (This is where the, “Awwwww” title of this blog post comes in. =))

Grace Barrett & Guy Roberts Wedding Announcement2 Denver Post 13 October 1921

Denver Post, 13 October 1921

At the time of their marriage, Grace was age 51, and Guy 41, which would have made him 9 years, 7 months and 8 days younger than she was. (Go Gracie!)

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celtic tree of life heart

I love old family photographs. The ones I love best are the ones taken of people in unguarded moments, when the camera was able to capture their personality so completely, that you need only look at the photograph to know exactly what kind of person they were, heart and soul.

The following photographs are among my favorites for that very reason. Some of these people I knew while they yet lived, others I did not, and some are still living. Sometimes I’d have a picture first, and then, as I researched them, or came to know them personally, and the details of their lives, the things I discovered about them only confirmed what I’d already known from looking at their picture. Other times I’d know their story first, fall in love with them, wish I knew what they’d looked like, and then later, come upon a picture. Each time the latter occurred was a very emotional experience for me. Sort of an, “Ohhhh…there you are…I just knew you’d look like that…sniffle*, tears streaming down my face”, kind of a moment.

These first two photos are of my “Uncle” Brett. He was actually my mother’s first husband, and the father of my two oldest brothers, but that’s what the rest of us called him. In truth, he was like a father to us all. I have many fond memories of him from my childhood. One of my earliest and favorite memories of him is of him coming to our house early one Christmas morning, cooking breakfast for us, all the while singing and dancing around the kitchen with a shiny red Christmas bow taped to his forehead. I actually have a picture of that somewhere.

This picture of Uncle Brett was taken in Japan, in 1945, while he was serving in the military. Note the flower tucked into his hat, the mischievous look on his face, and the stance. I can pretty much guarantee that he was dancing a jig right before this picture was taken.

Uncle Brett Korea 1951Bretton Gilbert Smith, Japan, 1945

Uncle Brett loved the ladies and was an incorrigible flirt. This studio picture was taken just before he left for Japan. It is currently framed and hanging on the wall in the entryway of our home. I remember telling him once how much I loved his eyes and smile in this picture. He proceeded to explain that the photographer was a very attractive blond, and that he’d had a great time chatting with her during the photo session. Figures. =)

Bretton Gilbert SmithBretton Gilbert Smith, 1945

The next photo is of my cousin, George Bosmajian, myself, and his wife Shirley, at a Coons/Bosmajian family reunion in 2006. I had the opportunity to work with both of them on some of our mutual family history. We met for the first time at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2004. He was highly intelligent (he was literally a rocket scientist) and absolutely charming, as was his wife. George had a progressively degenerative spinal disease that made it extremely painful for him to stand in an upright position, which is evident in the photo.

Fresno Family ReunionGeorge Bosmajian Jr., Me & Shirley Bosmajian

I went to visit George and Shirley at their home for a week back in 2008 to help George organize boxes of family photos, stories, and memorabilia. George generously allowed me to scan all of the pictures he had of my ancestors that he had in his possession. Almost every photograph I have of my grandmother Edith Coons’ side of the family came as a result of that effort.

This picture of George was taken around 1941 in, I believe, Fresno, California. I love this picture of him because, for me, it absolutely captures the side of his personality I knew best. George passed away in June of 2011. Whenever I think of George now, this is how I see him in my mind’s eye.

George Bosmajian Jr.George Bosmajian Jr. 1941

In one of my previous blogs, I explained that all of my research began with my great grandfather, Harry McWhirter. His parents were Almira Blake (1837-1871) and Samuel McWhirter (1836-1874). Samuel had six siblings that I know of, the oldest being Agnes McWhirter Clifford (1827-1898). About a year ago, I was contacted by one of Agnes’ descendants, Charles Thomas, regarding some McWhirter family information I’d posted online. This was the first time I’d ever had any contact with someone from my McWhirter side of the family, and I’d never seen pictures of any of them. At that point in time, Charles didn’t have any either. But over the next few months some cousins he had contacted in Vermont sent him a few, which he then shared with me. Thanks Charles. =)

This picture is of Anna Thomas McBride (1876-1971), granddaughter of Agnes McWhirter and Robert Clifford (1821-1891), and her husband, William E. McBride (1868-1957).

You know that saying about someone having a “twinkle” in their eye? The woman is seriously twinkling…..

Anna & Bill McBrideAnna Thomas McBride & William E. McBride

Ok, last two photos. This picture is of my 4th cousin, Fred Thomas, father of the aforementioned Charles Thomas, and 2nd great grandson of Agnes McWhirter and Robert Clifford. Such a sweet face. If I were to give this picture a title I would name it “Heart of the Boy” because you can see his so clearly, right there in his eyes.

Fred Thomas c 1941Fred Thomas c 1946

I had the opportunity to meet both Charles and Fred last May while I was visiting my brother Rick in Chicago. They were both quite charming, and were wonderful hosts. I had such a great time. Thanks guys. =)

Fred & Charles Thomas 20 May 2012Fred & Charles Thomas, 2012

I went to Chicago again in March of 2013 for my brother Ricks birthday. Fred and his wife Jeanne met with us to help celebrate.

Jeanne & Fred Thomas, Jeannie Halversen March 2013 Chicago, IllinoisJeanne & Fred Thomas, Jeannie Halversen
Chicago, Illinois, March 2013

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Thomas/Krueger Ancestry

Family history for the Thomas and Krueger Families

Yellow Rose Productions

Where creativity is only the beginning

Hearts of the Fathers

Prepare thyself to search their fathers....shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their hearts? Job 8:8-10

Aileen Rose

Prepare thyself to search their fathers....shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their hearts? Job 8:8-10