Mar 12, 2015

11 Mar 2015 - She's 18!!

I know all grandparents say this - but it really doesn't seem possible she is 18 already!!  I was there at her birth and it seems like a couple years ago.  Here she is in 1997 at our home in Danville, CA:

And then there is now - on her way to Scripps in Claremont, CA in the fall!!

Happy Birthday, my awesome Gracie Girl!

2015 Mar - Another Computer Crash

The computer gremlin got me again!  Apparently I've had too many genealogy programs open at once along with several news archives and word processing programs - without saving enough.  This from a former word processing trainer!!  Wow!  I won't be ignoring that anymore.  Found a super computer geek by the name of Lee Weese who did the impossible and saved the hard drive, fixed all kinds of errors and set me on the straight and narrow.  Fortunately I had good backups, so I don't believe I've lost many files.  Find him at
Rent@Geek.  Thanks, Lee!!!!

Jan 27, 2015

My New Genealogy Angel

Genealogy Angel Kim contacted me about photos of my Parks ancestors that were in her possession.  What a surprise and what a treat since these were photos we've never seen.  These are my great aunts and great grandmother:  Olive, Nettie, Lottie and Cora.  As for the second photo, we believe it is Lottie with her mother and my grandfather, Arthur Parks - the only baby picture we have of him.  Great grandmother is Mary Catherine Ortman Parks  Thank you, Angel Kim!!

Jan 15, 2015

A Cousin Finds a Coffin!

One of the wonders of genealogy is finding awesome cousins!  I, of course, have the best cousins!  Recently Cousin Eileen from Wisconsin was having trouble with her e-mail and, not finding my e-mail address, went to my blog to locate me.  Seeing my Coffin mystery, she put her awesome sleuthing skills to work and came up with Aunt Sybil!!  Thank you, Eileen!!  Here's how it turned out for Sybil Coffin, born September 1867 in Michigan to Isaac and Jeanette (Richardson) Coffin.  She married my 2d great uncle, John Washington Burrill, in Minneapolis in 1889.  John Wesley Burrill was born to them in 1891.  After a move to California, participating in the Yukon Gold Rush, John was killed in a cable car accident in 1898.  He is buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

With an 8 year old son, Sybil married on 20 Sep 1899 John William McDonald in Colusa, California.  John was a widower with three sons, William Andrew who was 13, John Lovett who was 6, and Royal Rozell who was 5.  They lived in Arbuckle, Colusa, California where John was a laborer in a warehouse.  The marriage did not survive.  Sybil filed for divorce, the divorce being final in March of 1906.  Sybil became a housekeeper for a farmer by the name of Alonzo B. Metsker as shown in the 1910 U. S. Census.  In 1911 there is a news notice of real estate transfers of property from Sybil and her son to an Ella Feize of San Francisco property on Edinburgh Street.

And this is where Cousin Eileen comes in.  She located a marriage of Sybil McDonald to Clifford  Clarence Martin on 1 Dec 1913 in Vancouver, Washington.  Sybil had relatives in Oregon and may have moved north after 1910.  Clifford Martin was 31 and a native of Oregon, and Sybil was 46 at the time of their marriage. They lived in Brownsmead, Clatsop, Oregon, where it appears they had 43 somewhat uneventful years until Sybil's death on 24 Sep 1956.


I trust that Sybil's years with Clifford were happy years for the two of them.  The Grim Reaper came to visit and disrupt those happy years on 12 Feb 1916 in Boring, Clackamas, Oregon when Sybil and John Burrill's son, John Wesley Burrill, died of pneumonia, one day shy of his 25th birthday.

One mystery remains to be solved.  In the 1910 census while Sybil is a housekeeper for Alonzo Metsker, there is a Lawrence H. McDonald living with them, age 3.  He is noted as a "ward."  His age would indicate he was born about 1907, possibly making him a son of Sybil and John William McDonald.  He was not related to Metsker which may be why he was enumerated as a "ward."  I've not yet found Lawrence in later documents, making him the unsolved part of this puzzle.

To sum up Sybil's life, she lost a husband in 1898, her mother in 1900, her father in 1906, went through a divorce also in 1906, and lost her firstborn son in 1916.  I try to remember Sybil's trials when I think I am feeling bad!!

According to a FindaGrave entry, Sybil is buried in Twin Oaks Memorial Gardens in Albany, Linn County, Oregon.  Thank you, Eileen, for your awesome sleuthing in putting the final pieces of this mystery together!

Jan 13, 2015

Bill's Been Pinned!



"We honor veterans" is a program designed to thank veterans and their families for their sacrifice and service to our country. Journey of Hope Hospice in St. George and our local VA partner coordinate to begin better understanding the complex end of life care needs of veterans. Through discussion, life review and special "pinning ceremonies," we work to ensure that the contributions and extra needs of this special group are recognized and respected. Bill has been on the advisory board of Journey of Hope Hospice, has taken the training necessary to work with veterans and has done much to raise the awareness of hospice in Southern Utah.


A touching part of the program is the pinning ceremony. It’s a "thank you" for service to our nation. Bill was presented with a special  pin as a token of thanks and gratitude.  The ceremony took place at the Ivins Nursing Home.

Dec 13, 2014

I Need a Coffin!

No, not THAT kind!  I need Sybil Coffin.  Sybil Coffin married my second great uncle, John Washington Burrill, in 1889 in Minnesota.  Sybil was born in Michigan in September of 1867, the 10th of 11 children of Isaac and Jeanette (Richardson) Coffin.  Son, John Wesley (usually seen as Wesley) Burrill was born 13 Feb 1891 in Minnesota.  Cousin Ellen Jean advised me that John's sister wrote to the family mentioning that her brother, John, was going to San Francisco, California to join the Yukon Gold Rush.  Family lore states that John ended up working on cable cars and was crushed by one on 22 Jul 1898 at the age of 41.  He is buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

In June of 1900, for the 1900 census, Sybil is in Arbuckle Township, Colusa County, California, recently married to John W. McDonald, a widower with three sons.  Son Wesley is with her and his stepfather.

By Feb of 1906, Sybil filed a lawsuit for divorce because of neglect.  In the 1910 census, Sybil is in Burney Valley township, Shasta County, California as a housekeeper for a single farmer, Alonzo B. Metzker (also seen as Metsker).  In May of 1911, two pieces of property in San Francisco on Edinburgh Street, one from Wesley and one from Sybil, are transferred to an Ella Feige.  Here is where the trail ends.  I don't know if Sybil married again.  I find no info on death for her.  

I do have a FamilySearch death notice for her son, Wesley Burrill, on 12 Feb 1916 in Clackamas, Oregon at 24 years of age.  I've not been able to find an obituary for him, either.  Sybil's father, mother and at least two of her brothers died in Oregon, so I have concentrated my research in Oregon and California.  So far no luck. 

Nov 28, 2014

My new favorite worship song










or maybe you'd rather hear these awesome Camp Pendleton Marines sing it!  Oohrah!!
Days of Elijah by Marines

Thankful!

I'm thankful for beautiful grandkids; beautiful on the inside and outside!