Funday Friday ~ #2 ~ Initials

friday_funday_bannerUsually, on Friday’s I post a blog called “Freaky Fridays”. I have published one each week for the last 29 weeks. I have had a lot of fun with it, however, I did notice that lately, they have been getting more negative in the content. So, I decided to try something new. As a change of pace, at least for a while, I will try to make Friday’s Fun.
This week I thought we could try something a little different. While thinking of what might be both fun and informational I thought about using our initials. This week we will find three ancestors whose first name starts with the first initial of your first, middle, and last name. My initials are VJM, so I will write a short paragraph about 3 ancestors, each one’s name will start with one of these initials. I look forward to reading about your three ancestors.


Vivian Gould 1930V– Vivian Elizabeth Gould is my 3rd cousin. She was born on November 5, 1912, in Oregon. She is the daughter of Cora Ida Simcosky and Edwin Reuben Gould Sr. Her family moved to Parsons, Kansas in 1920. She married William Howard Breckenridge on June 13, 1937, in Louisburg, Kansas. Vivian had 3 sisters and 1 brother and they were a close family. I have over 50 photographs of Vivian, her parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, her husband, and her children. Many of the photos are large group ones. Vivian died in 1965, in Louisburg at the age of 53.


J– Jane Ann Hardin is my 3rd Great Grandmother. She was born in Jane HardinKnox Creek, Tryon County, North Carolina in 1764. She is the fifth of fifteen children born to Colonel Joseph Hardin (1734-1801) and Jane Gibson (1742-1817). She married Alexander Goodin (1762-1844) in 1784 in Knoxville, Hardin County, Tennessee. They had 10 children, 4 sons, and 6 daughters. In 1817, she moved with her husband and family to Saline County, Missouri. Jane died in 1832, in Saline County at the age of 68.


Harriett Ellen Hughes 1905H- Henrietta Ellen Hughes is my Great Aunt. She was born on April 1. 1872, in Cole Camp. Benton County, Missouri. She is the last of 11 children born to James Monroe Hughes (1829-1876) and Martha Ann Ogan (1828-1913). At the age of 16, in 1888, she married William Lincoln Chism (1863-1909) and they had one daughter, William died in 1909 and Henrietta married Wesley Clark (1863-?) on December 25, 1911, in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri. They never had any children. It is said that she married 2 more times but no marriage certificates have been found to verify this. She died on January 14, 1962, in Clinton at the age of 89.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

Family_TreeA few years ago, a Pastor friend of ours told me I shouldn’t be working on my genealogy because the Bible speaks against it. He quoted a few scriptures that “proved” his statement. At this point in my life, I had been a Christian for 42 years and I had been a Genealogist for over 20 years. I never felt the two were in conflict with each other. Even so, his words bothered me.

I went home and got out my Bible and sure enough, that is basically what those scriptures stated. They inferred that taking on Genealogy endeavors were “unprofitable and vain”. Being a researcher at heart and having been misguided by others in the past because they pulled one verse out of an entire book in the Bible to prove their point, I did my own research on what those scriptures meant.

Here is what I discovered. Throughout the Old Testament being able to “prove” your lineage is what gave you a position in society and/or in the Temple. If you were from, let’s say, the line of Aaron who was the high priest of the wilderness tabernacle, then each high priest that came after him had to be from his line. This line assured their importance and position. Fast forward to the New Testament. Things had not changed. Each group of people fits into society according to their lineage. When Jesus began His ministry, He did not follow the “rules”.  He called some fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a zealot, and several tradesmen to be His disciples.


When the 2 verses (see verse references below) that had been quoted to me made the statement about “vain genealogies” it was referring to those who use their ancestors to put themself above others or who believes this makes them better than others. The bottom line is…..God created us all and we are equally valuable. I can comfortably reconcile my love of genealogy with my faith in Jesus!

SIDE NOTE: I have found through my research that there is a rich Religious Heritage that has been passed down through the generations to me. This comes from many different faiths and beliefs and I am thankful for this foundation.


Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9


cropped-blog-pic.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.











One of My Favorite Saturday’s ~ Tucson, AZ ~ 1965

childhood-memories1One of my favorite memories of our time in Tucson was on a crisp clear Saturday morning in January. We often took drives out to the desert for picnics or to just hike around. I was about 10 years old and I loved walking in the desert!

On this particular day, we headed west out of town. Nothing but desert and a few houses20200208_122054 in that direction, so I was excited believing we were going to be hiking. When we got to Kinney Rd my dad turned right and immediately pulled off the road. There on the side was a very old man dressed like a miner from the 1880s. He had an old buggy with a canopy top and a mule, and he had an enormous long-horned bull tied to a hitching post. My mother was so upset. She couldn’t understand why my dad would drag us all the way out here to look 20200208_122114at these nasty animals. My dad had learned to ignore her “rants” and he asked if we wanted to get out and take a picture with one of the animals. I yelled “Yes” and jumped out of the car. My mother said “No, we need to leave” but my dad acted like he didn’t hear her. So, I got my picture taken on both of them. I couldn’t believe my dad let me even though my mother said no.

Old Tucson 1When we got back in the car, he said that’s the first surprise. Now let’s get on to the next. We rode in silence until we pulled into the parking lot of Old Tucson Studios! I let out a scream and jumped out of the car and my mother and sister absolutely refused to get out. My dad just said, “We will be back” and he took my hand and lead me to the box office. My dad was greeted by the ticket holder who called him by name and let us go on through. Once inside we rode the rides, watched the live gunfights, looked through the gift shops and got ice cream. Down at the end of the dirt road, there were red cones blocking the way. Do not enter signs were posted everywhere. I got a little nervous when he started walking in that direction. I was gripping is hand tight! We just walked on past the signs and cones and when we got to the other side of the tall wooden fence, I could see it was a movie studio lot.

My Dad worked construction the entire 11 years that we lived in Tucson. He workedOld Tucson 2 for MM Sundt Construction and this company had the contract to help expand “Old Tucson”. It had become a famous Movie Studio and with more and more westerns being filmed there was a need for more buildings.  I didn’t know it at the time, but we were at his workplace. He proudly showed me around the sets, and he introduced me to a lot of people. I got to see “behind the scenes”. It was great.

When we got back to the car, my mother and sister never said one word to us. As a matter of fact, my mother had moved to the back seat, so I quickly jumped in the front. All the way home he told me stories about the filming of some of the movies and TV shows. He had met John Wayne several times when he was there filming Rio Bravo and he had met most of the cast of Rawhide, Wagon Train and The High Chaparral.

It was one of the best days I could remember!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.











Freaky Friday’s #1 ~ Jerusha

Freaked Out Letters Funny A Little Crazy WordI decided to post a blog every Friday with some of the odd or “Freaky” Genealogy discoveries I have made. I hope you enjoy my wildly odd family!

Confession time….my name is Valerie Jane. I have always disliked the name Janeme 1 yr old even though my mother told me that I was named Jane after not only herself but several other Ancestors. Her name was Emma Jane, my Grandmother was Ella Jane, my Great Grandmother was Sarah Jane, you get the picture. Growing up she always told me “if you ever have a daughter I would like you to give her the name”. I struggled with that because I couldn’t find a name that sounded good with Jane.

Jerusha babyWhen I was 12 years old, my friend and I went to the movies to see “Hawaii” starring Julie Andrews. In the film, she played the part of a missionaries wife and her name was Jerusha. I had never heard that name before but I loved it. When I put the two names together, Jerusha Jane, I knew I had found my future daughter’s name. After having 2 sons. John Pleasant and Starr Douglas, I finally got my daughter when I was 22.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I was concentrating on my Morgan family line. My 8x Great Grandfather James Morgan Jr was the first of the line to be born in the Colonies. He and his wife Mary had 7 children. Looking over the list of children there it was, they had a daughter named Jerusha. She was born in 1682. Her older sister, my 7x Great Grandmother Mercy married a man named Thomas Starr. They had a daughter whom they named Jerusha. So, her name was Jerusha Starr. This is the really FREAKY part. Remember the names of my sons? The younger one is named Starr!

After further searching through this line I have a total of 7 Jerusha’s in my Hughes Family tree.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Does this sound confusing? Well, it was for me too.  However, I have been having fun with it all day. Let me explain.

I sat down at my computer to see what “gems” I might find. Logging into Ancestry I wentAncestry Goof. straight to the hints (or the shaky green leaf’s) and there was one for my 5 times Great Grandfather. Something looked a little strange at the top of the page and I spent a few minutes trying to figure it out. Well, right under the name and dates of birth and death was the strangest thing I have ever seen on this site. Listed in the relationship to you line at the bottom it said, “You are the Father of Colbert Blair”. I probably stared at it for a minute before that sunk in. Then I started to laugh.


Ancestry Goof 3Being curious I started looking at some other ancestors. All of them were messed up. I looked at my 10 times Great Grandfather Benjamin Singletary and it had him listed as the “6th great-grandfather of husband of 5th great-granddaughter “! This one was especially confusing. As I searched backwards through my tree, I found this had happened to all my ancestors in my Hughes/Hayes tree. I went to my other trees and they were fine.


Ancestry Goof 2

I am still waiting on Ancestry to figure out what is wrong, and I hope it gets fixed soon. It is a little disturbing to know that my Dad in “My 6th Great Grandson”! In the meantime I am having lots of fun trying to figure out my relationships, it’s complicated!!



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Just for Fun

The last two months have been difficult, to say the least. My oldest son has been diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous tumor. It is a rare cancer and it is growing at an alarming rate. He was moved into hospice yesterday.


I have spent many hours in the hospital listening to the doctors and nurses use medical terms that most laypeople may not understand. To be honest, I had to look up definitions of some of the terms they used after they left the room.

So, I decided I need to do something to push back what is a dark time. Just for fun let’s look at some “definitions” of some commonly used medical terms.

Artery – The study of fine painting

Bacteria – The back door of the cafeteria

Benign – What you are after you be eight

Bowel – A letter like A, E, I, O or U

Cesarean Section – A neighborhood in Rome

Cat scan – Searching for kitty

Cauterize – Made eye contact with her

Dilate – To live long

Enema – Not a friend

GI Series – A Soldier ball game

Impotent – Distinguished, well known

Labor Pains – Getting hurt on the job

Medical Staff – A doctor’s cane

Morbid – A higher offer

Nitrate – Cheaper than day rates

Node – Was aware of

Organic – Church musician

Outpatient – Person who fainted

Post Operation – A letter carrier’s job

Recovery Room – A place to do upholstery

Secretion – Hiding anything

Seizure – Roman Emperor

Terminal Illness – Getting sick at the airport

Urine – Opposite of you’re out


Thank you for indulging me. Sometimes it is better to just laugh instead of cry.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available  on History and You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter