Great Loves Live On.

Willis Deloria with Pauline Bonnett Deloria holding Charles Moore.

Willis Deloria with Pauline Bonnett Deloria holding Charles Moore.

Willis Deloria and Pauline Bonnett Deloria were my grandparents. They were married in 1918 when Pauline was just over the age of 15, and Willis was 35. It was the first and the last marriage for each of them. Willis died in 1954 when I was three years old. Pauline was to live for 21 more years. Their marriage like most was a celebration of good times and the enduring of bad times. They had five children starting in the 1920s and ending in the 1930s. Then came the Great Depression.

From all accounts, they had what we would call a good marriage in which great love was in evidence. They never had much money, and I am sure the Depression was a major factor. Willis found work in a foundry, bakery, and was a general laborer. Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s he had to retire due to health reasons. However, newspapers stories show a family that was active and doing well. I have read about parties attended and given and winning a contest for the best doll at the local playground and family outings.

My Mother Veronica Deloria Moore and me, Charles Moore. 1951.

My Mother Veronica Deloria Moore and me, Charles Moore. 1951.

This picture shows me with my Mother at two weeks of age. She was the second child of my grandparent’s five children. Mom also married an older man. My Dad was 16 years older than my mother. Dad died in 1966, and my mother lived to 2007. She missed him everyday

My wife Sandra Lyon Moore and our first born Charles.

My wife Sandra Lyon Moore and our first born Charles.

The picture above shows my wife with our first born, Charles Henry Moore lll, on his first day at home. We will have two more children. Charles was to be held by his grandmother Pauline the day before she was to suffer a fatal stroke.

One of my favorite pictures. My son Charles and his wife Melissa in a happy moment after the birth of their first child.

One of my favorite pictures. My son Charles and his wife Melissa in a happy moment after the birth of their first child.

Here is Charles with our daughter in law and his wife Melissa celebrating just hours after the birth of their son Charles the Fourth. I now have four grandchildren. Charles and Melissa have two sons, and my daughter Pamela has two daughters.

My grandparents gravestone. At the bottom you can read "Great Loves Live On".

My grandparents gravestone. At the bottom you can read “Great Loves Live On”.

When I was younger, I went many times to visit my grandfather’s grave with my grandmother. I would often wonder about the epitaph “Great Loves Live On”. I can recall thinking that it would die when my grandmother died. I only equated the epitaph with my grandmother’s long widowhood. It would be many years before I took in it’s simple yet profound message. We all are a result of love. We owe our existence and so much more to our ancestors. The intimate feelings that formed their unions vibrate through the years. Even if we do not know who they are. Some of the truth of that epitaph is in evidence in the pictures above.

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The Glue That Binds

Part of our baseball family. Left to right. Me Charles Moore, Nicole, in back with sunglasses Jessica, my son Charles and his son's Charles and Braden. Yes Charles is a popular name in our family. "I feel an invisible bond between our three generations, an anchor of loyalty linking my sons (children) to the grandfather whose face they never saw but whose person they have already come to know through this most timeless of all sports, the game of baseball." Doris Kearns Goodwin

Part of our baseball family. Left to right. Me Charles Moore, Nicole, in back with sunglasses Jessica, my son Charles and his son’s Charles and Braden. Yes Charles is a popular name in our family.
“I feel an invisible bond between our three generations, an anchor of loyalty linking my sons (children) to the grandfather whose face they never saw but whose person they have already come to know through this most timeless of all sports, the game of baseball.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin

Some things run through families generation after generation. Some of them are not pleasant while some are a much-cherished item. Some families have generations of doctors, writers, or certain noses, chins, or even a certain laugh. While I am aware that family traits are not limited to just one thing, I am going to talk about one trait that seems to be shared in my family line. Perhaps by sharing this family attribute it will give you some ideas in how to tell part of your family story. So what is it that threads its way from generation to generation in my family? It is baseball.

We are very lucky to live near a Triple A  baseball team. The Moore family has enjoyed many games here. "I felt what I almost always feel when I am watching a ballgame: just for those two or three hours, there is really no place I would rather be." Roger Angell

We are very lucky to live near a Triple A baseball team. The Moore family has enjoyed many games here.
“I felt what I almost always feel when I am watching a ballgame: just for those two or three hours, there is really no place I would rather be.”
Roger Angell

My father Charles Moore was the first baseball player I know of in my family. In the 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression, he was able to obtain work due to his skills at playing baseball. He was able to land a job at a lumber mill because he had the ability to play second base for the mill’s baseball team. Many large employers would find work for people who could play ball for the company’s baseball team. These teams played very competitive schedules, and it was not unknown for these players to make it to baseball’s Major League. While playing baseball, they still were expected to put in a days work at the employer’s place of business. I wish I had a picture of my father playing ball, but I do not. The earliest picture I have of him is about 1941 in his army uniform. He was playing for a different team then.

My father's great granddaughter Nicole, flips her bat with style after drawing a walk. "It ain't bragging if you can back it up." Dizzy Dean

My father’s great granddaughter Nicole, flips her bat with style after drawing a walk.
“It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.”
Dizzy Dean

I am the weak link in the talent for playing baseball. While I did play some Little League and much sandlot baseball, I was never able to do much else. What I did do was watch hours of baseball on television some of it with my father. It was here that the start of my education on the strategy of the game began. He would point out what the defense was or should be doing. Different pitching approaches and what the batter should be doing. What skills are needed for each position and what is expected from each player. Then we would laugh when Dizzy Dean would start singing the “Wabash Cannon Ball” during his broadcast. So I also learned that baseball had great humor. It was an education that stayed with me to this very day. I was able to put it to very good use as I started coaching baseball at the age of 16. I coached my first youth baseball team before I could drive. Lucky for me the field was not far away. I would continue to coach for many years at all levels from seven-year-olds to town teams with players up to 18 years of age.

My girl friend Sandy. She was my score keeper for my very first team. Also and perhaps better she married me a few years later. "Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too." Yogi Berra

My girl friend Sandy. She was my score keeper for my very first team. Also and perhaps better she married me a few years later.
“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.”
Yogi Berra

I was able to coach each of my three children. They had the talent to play the game that I lacked. My oldest son Charles was to play all through high school even being named MVP for his team. My other son Jacob was a dominate pitcher in Little League. He was also one of the best contact hitters I have ever coached. He was not able to play in high school due to his Spina Bifida. However not one to be kept down he made the high school swim team. The youngest was my daughter Pam. She played hardball with the boys in Little League. Her last year playing she had the highest batting average on her team. All three of my children have coached or helped coach their baseball teams and have done a good job

My son Jacob at bat. A near hit. "Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young." Roger Angel

My son Jacob at bat. A near hit.
“Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.”
Roger Angel

My daughter Pam coaching her team. "If your not having fun in baseball, you miss the point of everything." Chris Chambliss

My daughter Pam coaching her team.
“If your not having fun in baseball, you miss the point of everything.”
Chris Chambliss

I have four grandchildren two boys and two girls, and they all have or are playing baseball. They all seem to have a great talent for the game, so I did not curse them. But what I find even better they enjoy the game. It has to be the family’s genes. .

Grandson Braden. "Don't tell me about the world. Not today. It's springtime and they're knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball." Pete Hamill

Grandson Braden.
“Don’t tell me about the world. Not today. It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.”
Pete Hamill

My son Charles and grandson Charles. The old catcher giving advise to the young catcher.  "Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is." Bob Feller

My son Charles and grandson Charles. The old catcher giving advise to the young catcher.
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”
Bob Feller

So what family activity runs through your family? How has it tied the generations together? I am sure that it would be a story worth writing down to be shared with future generations.

Brothers. "The one constant through all the years, Ray has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us all that was good and could be again" From the movie Field of Dreams. 1989

Brothers.
“The one constant through all the years, Ray has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us all that was good and could be again”
From the movie Field of Dreams. 1989

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Now, Where Did I Put That……………………?

It use to be much worse than this. I will admit I do have one box on the floor of records that have to be looked into and researched.

It use to be much worse than this. I will admit I do have one box on the floor of records that have to be looked into and researched.

What you see shown above is part of my workspace. It was much worse. In fact over the last few years it has gotten much better. Instead of boxes and file drawers full of papers and records surrounded by hills of paper about to collapse this is all that is left. Well mostly. I would like to try and explain how I have formed my genealogy file system. I would like to say at the start of this explanation that my system is not the best nor is it a bad one. It is a system that works for me and may also work for you in whole or in part. But in any case we all need a system that we can work with so we can get on with discovering our family history.

I keep both a digital and paper record. I know many people use mostly digital and very little paper, but I have decided against that. No one can say how we will be keeping our digital records twenty-five years from now. Look what has come and gone or is on the way out. Microfilm, fiche, floppy disk, recordable disk, and flash drives. Audio and visual recordings have the same history of what has come and gone. Paper, however, has been around for hundreds of years and will last much longer than any digital recording I can think of. Digital records, are neat and take up very little room. Paper can also be organized neatly and the room it takes can be managed. The picture below shows two of my three binders that hold over 500 family records. I will soon start a census binder as I have not done much with filing those records.

Two of my binders I use to store family records. Notice that each record has a number given to it. You can see them in the lower left hand corner. These numbers are used to keep track of the records and who they go to.

Two of my binders I use to store family records. Notice that each record has a number given to it. You can see them in the lower left hand corner. These numbers are used to keep track of the records and who they go to.

I do not keep a paper binder for each family. I simply give each record a number and file it away in numerical order. Since I work on both my family lines and those of my wife, this helps keep the number of binders to a minimum. I use an Excel spreadsheet and enter each number into that file. Next I put in what type of record or Document that goes with the number. Then I enter the family name and or the family members that are named on the document. This makes it very easy to search who goes with each record. For example, if I want to know which records belong to the Moore family, I put Moore into the find option, and it will bring me to each Moore file. I then can go to the binder and look over the record. I also have started to scan the records into a file which will do the same. These are also saved to a cloud by a service that I use.

I use the Family Tree Maker 2014 from ancestry.com. I tell you this not as a recommendation (however I do like it) but to let you know what I use to record my family tree. When I enter a source into the program, the first item is the number given to that record. So once more it relates right back to the paper file and my binders. I find this is also best for me as I work on my family history book. I can find the records I need and can give them the proper citation. I also find this shows where I need to improve my documentation, so I can be as sure as possible I have the correct facts.

This is File number 209. This shows the birth of my Great Uncle Harry, with my Great Grandparents Bessie Barney and Abner Bonnett. The number 209 makes it very easy to look up as it follows this record either on paper or digital.

This is File number 209. This shows the birth of my Great Uncle Harry, with my Great Grandparents Bessie Barney and Abner Bonnett. The number 209 makes it very easy to look up as it follows this record either on paper or digital.

This is a print out of  the Excel spreadsheet that I use. The first column is the record number given to that record. Next what type of record is it. Then I show the names given in the record. All of this can be searched in the program and used very quickly.

This is a print out of the Excel spreadsheet that I use. The first column is the record number given to that record. Next what type of record is it. Then I show the names given in the record. All of this can be searched in the program and used very quickly.

This has been a short explanation of my genealogy filing system. I would like to hear from you on your system and how you keep it all organized. Also, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions please note them. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Family Feuds Or The Spice Of Genealogy

From left to right. Back Row; Pauline Bonnett, Florence Bonnett and Claude Bonnett.  Front Row Harry Bonnett, Bessie Barney Bonnett, Verna Bonnett, and Mary Guyette Barney Douglas. Picture taken about 1913.

From left to right. Back Row; Pauline Bonnett, Florence Bonnett and Claude Bonnett. Front Row Harry Bonnett, Bessie Barney Bonnett, Verna Bonnett, and Mary Guyette Barney Douglas. Picture taken about 1913.

The pictures in this post were an incredible find. I obtained them by contacting a person who had a family tree listed in ancestry.com. While it was not very complete, it held some information that caught my interest. I sent a request to the tree owner asking if we could exchange information. I believe this is something we all should do as it helps us all in our genealogy research. I cannot understand why some of us are so reluctant to share our information. This time however I hit the genealogy jackpot. I was soon put in touch with Julia, who was the keeper of the family records. She was to send me old family letters, pictures, property transfer records, and newspaper articles. What she gave me that was more important than all of those things was a lesson in my family’s history.

The picture above shows my twice great grandmother, my great grandmother, and my grandmother. It also shows my great aunts and uncles. However my Great Aunt Florence, who is standing next to my Grandmother Pauline, was a relative I had never known. It would be her little branch of the family tree that would in time move to Texas. It was from Texas back to New York that the flow of information would come to me.

Feuds are not new to any family. I think I can say this without exception that all families have them. If you think your family might have immunity, I will advise you to dig deeper. In fact, my Great Grandmother Bessie and her mother my twice Great Grandmother Mary had their feud. I learned about this in the family letters that Julia sent to me. Mary was to write how it hurt her when she met her daughter Bessie on the street she would turn her head or cross the street to avoid being on the same side. From what I can tell by the dates of the letters the dispute was never settled as Bessie died in the 1918 flu epidemic just a few months after having a child.

From left to right. Florence Bonnett and Pauline Bonnett Picture taken about 1908

From left to right.
Florence Bonnett and Pauline Bonnett
Picture taken about 1908

What caused the family fight with my Great Aunt Florence and the rest of the family can be summed up in one-word money. From what Julia was able to tell me (Florence was her mother-in-law) Florence borrowed some money from her Grandmother Mary. Mary was a strong-willed person, and I heard many stories about her from My Great Uncle Harry and my Grandmother Pauline. She raised all of Bessie’s children after she died, except for the one born in 1918. Florence was already married (at age 14) at the time of her mother’s death, and was already making her own home. My Grandmother Pauline was married less than a month before her mother’s death, so both sisters were on their own. It seems that Florence was slow in paying back the money to Mary, her mother and I believe not all of it was paid back. Then in the early 1940s Mary signed over her house to Pauline and her husband. This may ( I think it did) have caused some hard feelings within the family, especially between Pauline and her sister Florence. It all came to a finale act in 1946 at the death of Mary. As was the custom then the wake was being held in the home. Florence had driven up from New York City to Plattsburgh, N.Y. a distance of about 300 miles. When she got to the front door of the family home, she was not allowed to enter and pay her respects to her mother. She ended up having to go back home without seeing her mother or anyone for that matter. As far as I know no other contact was ever made.

How far did this go? Let me give you two examples. When Florence died in 1965, she was still living in N.Y. State. I was 14 at the time. My mother, grandmother and all the aunts and uncles that lived near and in Plattsburgh, N.Y. never once spoke about it. At least when I was around. I would have remembered as I would have been learning about a sister I never knew my grandmother had or about my mother’s aunt. My mother died in 2007. By that time, I had had this information for a few years. I never told anyone about it. I wanted to see if it would come out on its own. However the last year of my mother’s life she was very sick and failing. While for many reasons we have not been close we started talking with each other, thanks to the efforts of my sister. My mother had a very clear mind and was able to tell me much family history. However, her Aunt Florence never came up. I did everything I could to get her to talk about her. Leading questions, and asking about grandma’s brothers and sisters. She never admitted to the existence of Florence.

Left to right Warren Tromblee and Florence Bonnett Tromblee Taken about 1942 / 1943

Left to right
Warren Tromblee and Florence Bonnett Tromblee
Taken about 1942 / 1943


The lessons I learned from all of this, are many. Genealogy wise it reinforced in me the importance of looking everywhere for family clues. Then we must follow up on what we find. We all hold information that can be so helpful to someone else doing research on the family. It is not our information to own but is to be shared so we all can learn. I am very thankful to the Tromblee family that they posted on ancestry.com and were so willing to share. They have given me family treasures that I hope are passed down for many generations.

One more lesson could be learned from this. Most family feuds and arguments are pure folly. Everyone involved in this dispute is dead. At the end when you think about it, what did it matter? Family lines lost, scattered, and unknown to each other. That is the legacy of this feud.

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A Day In The Life Of…………………………

My dog Chip knows how to spend a cold and snowy winter day. Here he is wrapped up in a throw quilt my wife made for me. He got good use of it all day.

My dog Chip knows how to spend a cold and snowy winter day. Here he is wrapped up in a throw quilt my wife made for me. He got good use of it all day.

The Last few days have brought cold weather with temperatures falling below zero. Yesterday we got about eight inches of snow with blowing wind. These conditions have the effect of making the snow harder to deal with and just making it feel colder outside. So I have spent the last few days inside doing things that I enjoy. This has gotten me to thinking about what would a future descendant learn about me if they could observe my day. I mean besides that I ate Maypo for breakfast and a tuna fish sandwich for lunch. Well, they would learn that I overindulge my dog, and I like to watch birds on my birdfeeder. If they take a look around they would see bookshelves full of books read, so they would know I like to read. They will see pictures of family and mementos of times and places that have meaning for me. They would even see that I like to go to online auction sites. But would they really know me and be able to tell my story?

Birdfeeder right outside my kitchen window. I get visitors all day long.

Birdfeeder right outside my kitchen window. I get visitors all day long.

People are a complex mixture of thoughts, emotions, likes, and dislikes. If we were to pick out a stranger and follow them for a complete day while studying their every action and noting their every utterance, we still would not know that person. The same would hold true if we did it for a week, a month or even a year. Certainly we would know them better, but I believe not even close to complete. Years of living together does not bring understanding either. Look at the many examples we know of siblings, not getting along or parents and children are not getting along because of a lack of understanding.

In our genealogy endeavors, we try to break down that barrier of just adding dates of births, marriages, and deaths. We try to do better than a list of children born and perhaps an occupation or residence. We want to know our ancestor’s story and what they were like as people. So we dig and hunt in records and newspapers to find hints that may let us know who they truly were. Sometimes we are lucky, and we find an insight into our ancestor. This can take hours of research and putting these elusive puzzle pieces in the right places. Then we tell their stories. We tell them with pride, shame, and sometimes with amusement. I have read about slave owners and abolitionist. Men or women who abandon their families. Ancestors who worked on the family farm or gave up everything to save the family business. Others who ended up in prison or were in law enforcement. Indian fighters and Quakers. Ancestors who were patriots or loyalist in the Revolutionary War. They were surprised that their ancestor fought for the North or the South in the Civil War. But in truth we know very little about them. Pieces of their puzzle will always be missing and misunderstood.

The best we can ever hope for is to tell the facts as we know them and make the best guesses we can about them. But always being mindful of the fact that we are at best only making guesses about who they are and why they took certain actions or inactions. Beyond the facts, we must be honest with ourselves and others when we stray and start making conclusions about them. But with all this being said that for me is one of the truly fun aspects of family history. Telling their stories is what helps bring them to life for future generations, even if only a shadow of the real person.

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Throw Back Thursday: Our First Christmas Tree

Our first Christmas Tree.

Our first Christmas Tree.

Here it is our first Christmas tree that my wife and I picked out for our celebration. It was short, squat, crooked, and not well shaped. We knew it was going to be a problem as soon as we got it home. The tree had to be tilted in the tree stand just to give it the illusion of being straight. If you look closely at the picture you can see two wires from the wall tied to the tree to hold it up. The part of the tree against the wall was sparse, which was nice as the tree did not intrude too far into our living room. As I said this was our first Christmas, and this year will mark our 43rd. Every one of them has had that magic spirit, but this is the one that initiated our family’s Christmas traditions.

Does your family know about your past Christmases? If not or if a happy retelling is in order, what better time to do it? While I still believe in Santa Clause, I also believe genealogy starts with family stories.

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Mildred’s Family Has Been Found

This is Mildred. The picture was taken about 1936.

This is Mildred. The picture was taken about 1936.

The picture you see above had been stored in a box for well over 50 years. It is from the collection of pictures and other items my wife, and I found when we cleaned out her parents home well over ten years ago. I have been slowly placing names and histories to these items. Each one is a challenge but brings its rewards when the mystery is solved.

This picture was a little easier as it had a name very lightly written on the back. It was not a family name, and no one seemed to know her. I took a guess that it was a picture taken for a school graduation. My wife’s mother had graduated from Plattsburgh State Normal School in the year 1939. I found a website that had copies of the “Cardinal” yearbooks, from the Plattsburgh State Normal School. I found Mildred in the 1936 edition. I was now certain how and why my mother-in-law had her picture.

This is the year book page I found on-line.

This is the year book page I found on-line.

Citation

My next step was to search my favorite on-line digital newspaper sites. After several days of looking I finally found Mildred. The news articles traced a life in print. Marriage, births and in the end deaths. By reading these articles, I got to know Mildred and her family. I also discovered that she died just this year at the age of 100. I learned that she put her teaching degree to good use teaching until she retired in 1977. Then she volunteered for Literacy Volunteers for many years after. Her husband died in 1975. They had one daughter and at the time of Mildred’s death three grandchildren.

I was able to contact the daughter, and she seemed very happy to be able to get the photograph. All in all, it took me a few hours research spread out over a month to be able to do this. I get a great feeling when I can restore these items to their families. So I have done my genealogy good deed, and I encourage you to try and do the same.

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