Saturday, November 29, 2014

Love of History Makes Me Travel the Genealogical Path

I love history, maybe that's why I love Genealogy.  I especially love searching for ancestors then studying what was happening in history while they were alive and often guessing what role they played in that history.  It's said that we need to study history so we can learn to not repeat the mistakes of the past.  I don't know if we do that very well, being human and all.  Seems sometimes we need to be hit on the head with a brick before we get it.

I've been told that I 'live in the past'.  I've thought about that a lot.  Wondering............just what does that mean?  All I know is that when I work in genealogy I work in peace because the folks I'm getting to know are normally all gone and they never yell at me or give me grief.

The end of 2014 is nearly upon us, what have we accomplished in it?  Our footsteps have been set for someone in the future to ponder.  My life is nothing special, you say?  I say not so.  Let your footsteps offer encouragement to trudge on through adversity, enjoy the taste of victory or the peace found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Your life will and does speak to someone.

In 2014 we've had the blessing of breaking down some brick walls:

Delmar Slocum 1857-1911
the son of Delivan the
 Brother of Ira Slocum 
father of Alonzo Slocum
Through the wonder of Genealogical DNA we have broken through what genealogists call "the brick wall', when the trail runs cold, and discovered more about IRA SLOCUM, Mike's 4th Great-Grandfather.  He does exhist! Thanks to DAVE BUMP for getting his DNA done so we could find the match to Mike SLOCUM.  Dave's father was adopted and Dave knew that his father was a SLOCUM and wanted to find out more.  We hope to get to Indiana this next summer to visit him!  This break-through was wonderful and opened more doors and will continue to do so. Delmar, pictured here is the 1st cousin of our Alonzo H. Slocum.  Check out that red hair, proving my husband is Scotch/Irish through and through.

This picture is believed
to be August GESCH, Sr

This encouraged me to pound on the door of my GESCH family.  Whatever happened to August GESCH, Sr who arrived in the United States in 1893 and his wife Augusta?  Where are they buried?  Does anyone know anything about them?  Are there any pictures?  I'm still pounding on that wall but it's beginning to crack.  I ended up contacting the local Genealogical Society and hiring someone to do some searching for me since I have the toddler (we adopted a granddaughter in May 2014) and this lady has found some encouraging information and we hope to find burial locations and be able to pull death certificates that may name the parents of these folks and open even more doors.  The biggest information on the GESCH family was the Y DNA that showed them to have ASHKENAZI JEWISH (from the tribe of LEVI) background which explains GESCH on the holocaust lists.  From what I have found all of the five children who came with August and Augusta from Berlin, Germany practice the LUTHERAN faith.  We'll keep chiseling on this wall in the new year.


Joining the  American Germans From Russia Society in 2015 is an expensive venture and will send me on a year long search for more information on my grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Marie) REBENSDORF and her ancestors.  My new year for Genealogy has been mapped out for me with this, working on my new filing system and the beginnings of writing the books on each family tree line.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

W.F. Gesch, Pender, Nebraska Member of Farmer's Holiday Association

The Farmers' Holiday Association was a movement of Midwestern United States farmers who, during the Great Depression, endorsed the withholding of farm products from the market, in essence creating a farmers' holiday from work. The Farmers' Holiday Association was organized in May 1932 by Milo Reno. The group urged farmers to declare a "holiday" from farming, with a slogan of "Stay at Home-Buy Nothing-Sell Nothing" and "Lets call a Farmer's Holiday, a Holiday let's hold. We'll eat our wheat and ham and eggs, And let them eat their gold."

Farmers went to extreme measures to ensure that their wants were carried through. One person was killed when the farmers began to blockade roads, and other farmers rallied to destroy their crops, reducing supply, and raising prices. The highways into Sioux City and Council Bluffs, Iowa, were blocked by pickets who dumped farm produce on the side of the road.  At Le Mars, Iowa some farmers dragged a judge out of his courtroom, placed a noose around his neck, and threatened to hang him unless he stopped approving farm foreclosures. The striking farmers were countered by sheriffs, militia, and vigilante groups.

Farmers' Holiday Association activity subsided by 1934 and was relatively unsuccessful. As a leader of the group from the Sioux City, Iowa area William Frederick Gesch, who was born on 9 October 1887 in Brandenburg, Germany and immigrated with his parents and siblings (one being Jean's Great-Grandfather August, Jr) in 1893 to the Pender, Nebraska area, was labeled a 'Reactionary' by the United States Government.  Indeed, the group was contacted by some of the leaders of the 'Communist Party' at the time, but the Farm Holiday Association rejected the groups overtures.  It was common, in this time period, for the US Government to jump at labeling people Communists.  

Hero or Reactionary, you be the judge.  Similar groups organized during the 1970's Farm Crisis, but because of input by famous people like, Willie Nelson, the group was a bit more successful.