Bringing Alice Schell Berger out of the shadows: 1868 thru 1885

Some women in my family tree lived extraordinary lives for their times. They traveled, worked, and had experiences that weren’t the norm for women of their day. Alice Deisher Schell is not one of those women. She had a nice middle class upbringing, and sustained that through her marriage.

She is the kind of person who normally wouldn’t be remembered when talking about your family history. Unlike some other women in my family tree, there are no “can you believe Alice did…” stories; no mysteries; and no secrets that were revealed when I was researching her life. Which is precisely why I wanted to write about her. She may not have done extraordinary things, but she is still someone I descend from. I wanted to learn what I could about her and bring her out of the shadows so she is not forgotten. Continue reading

Anna Eliza Blessing Winney Obituary

Below is the obituary for Anna Eliza Blessing Winney. It’s from the book that Michael Winney wrote in 2007, Ancestry of The Winney Siblings: Arthur Jr., Margaret, Patricia, Kathleen, Leonard & Michael.


Fennimore Times, May 19, 1909
Obituary – Mrs. Anna Eliza Winney

“The death of Mrs. Winney came as a surprise to many as the general condition of her health gave no warning of the near approach of the end. She died of heart failure on the evening of April 30th, 1909.

Continue reading

Elizabeth Jane Blessing Basford Obituary

Below is the obituary for Elizabeth Jane Blessing Basford mentioned in Part 5. It’s from the book that Michael Winney wrote in 2007, Ancestry of The Winney Siblings: Arthur Jr., Margaret, Patricia, Kathleen, Leonard & Michael.


“Mrs. Elizabeth J. Basford, wife of Hon. Luther Basford, of this city, died Wednesday morning, Dec. 3, of heart failure, aged 67 years, 11 months and 6 days. Continue reading

Hazel Jolly Sharp sets her own terms

Hazel Jolly Sharp sets her own terms

How I’m related

Dorothy Hazel “Hazel” Jolly is the youngest sister of my dad’s mom, Myrtle Mae Jolly Hemenway. Their parents were William Coleman “Coley” Jolly and Martha Jane “Mattie” Brantley.

Hazel’s Story

Hazel Sharp

Hazel Jolly Sharp, May 2002

Hazel, born on March 14, 1914 in Eldorado, TX, was the youngest child. Her siblings were: William Melvin “Brother”; Allie Bell “Sister”; Erma; Coleman Clinton “Clint”; Clara Sue; Bill Arp “Arp”; Thelma Alta; Tony Drew “Jack”; Grady G.; Myrtle Mae; and Mattie Eloise “Lois”.

Like her sisters, she didn’t let the norms of the day or restrictions placed on women limit her. She traveled around the US and Canada. One of her achievements that she commented on often was visiting all 50 states.

Always moving forward

In one of the letters that Hazel wrote to me she said “I don’t think anyone can ever learn too much. When I was younger I was always taking some sort of a course.” Continue reading

Mabel Wallberg Winney was determined and devoted

A Quiet Strength

Many of the women in my family history that I’ve written about had outwardly visible strength. They voiced their opinions, they raised families in harsh and sparse conditions while settling the west, and they forged ahead when widowhood left them destitute.

Getting to know my great grandmother, Mabel Wallberg Winney, through her own words in diaries and letters, as well as letters her sister, Louise Wallberg Truxaw, wrote, I came to know that Mabel’s strength, while less visible, was no less intense.

Mabel’s Story

Mabel Winney #1Mabel Eleanor Wallberg was born on July 24, 1899 in Wenatchee, Douglas County, Washington to Edmund Ulrich and Elinore “Ella” Elizabeth (nee Owens) Wallberg.

Her older siblings were Ivor Owens and Castilla Louise (who went by Louise). She also had a younger sister, Edna Bernice.

In February 1912, when Mabel was 12 years old, her mother passed away in Seattle, WA. Mabel’s dad, brother and youngest sister moved back to San Juan Island, WA where they had a ranch.

In late 1911, Mabel’s older sister, Louise moved to Los Angeles to work in a hospital there. Around 1918, Mable moved down to live with her, where she worked at the front desk for Dr. Truxaw, Louise’s husband. Continue reading

Eleanor McGlothlen Kirkpatrick Newhouse early years

You can see the first post of this series here: Eleanor Jane McGlothlen Kirkpatrick Newhouse “Grandma Newhouse” was kind of a badass

To see all of her stories click this tag: Eleanor McGlothlen Kirkpatrick

Eleanor’s parents

Eleanor’s parents were Charles McGlothlen and Jane M. Davis. Eleanor seems to have come by her adventurous spirit naturally. Even before she was born, the family was seeking new frontiers. Continue reading

Eleanor McGlothlen Kirkpatrick Newhouse “Grandma Newhouse” was kind of a badass

I can’t write all of the amazing things that happened to Grandma Newhouse in her 75 years in one post, so I’ll break it into multiple posts. To see all of the stories click this tag: Eleanor McGlothlen Kirkpatrick

Mabel Winney and Grandma Newhouse (2)

Grandma Newhouse with Mabel Wallberg abt 1903

Eleanor’s stories

I’m incredibly fortunate that my family loved to write their stories and interview their parents and grandparents to find out more about their lives and their families. I have a lot of stories thanks to Eleanor’s diary excerpts and The Grandma Newhouse Story. Continue reading