Aug 18

Mount Carmel EUB Sunday School Class of 1914

Today, an old photo that was submitted and printed in The Graphic, Portland, Indiana, in 1954. The photo was originally taken in 1914 of Edna Brewster’s Mount Carmel EUB Church Sunday School class. The church was located in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana.

The Graphic had a feature section “From the Old Album” where people could submit an old photo with a description and maybe even a little bit of history.

From the Thursday, 7 October 1954 edition of The Graphic:

My grandmother Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (1896-1973) and her sister Alpha (Brewster) Derickson (1898-1968) are among the young ladies pictured in the photo below. The girls are all dressed in white, in their finest Sunday dresses. It looks like it was a special occasion. I wonder what what the occasion could have been.

Written below the photo:
Bryant—From the family album of Mrs. Herbert Arnold, RR1, Bryant, comes this picture of the Mount Carmel Sunday school class of 1914. The teacher for these young ladies was Edna (Brewster) Abnet. They’re the only clues we have on this picture post card except the guess that the picture was taken in the classroom at the church.

Mt Carmel Sunday School Class, 1914; postcard held by Karen.

The class:
Seated, left to right: Iva (Irwin) Charleston, Edna (Brewster) Abnet, Alpha (Brewster) Derickson, Clara (Fogle) Becher, Blanch (Beerbower) Foreman, and Janie (Irwin) Arnold.

Standing, left to right: Lola (Charleston) Taylor, Anna (Ketchum) Durbin, Cleo (Rumple) Pyle, Jannette (Charleston) Striker, Ethel (Evans) Houseman, Mary Champer, Gertrude (Brewster) Miller, Augusta (Brewster) Rockwood, Addie (Ketchum) Hisey, and Eathel (Evans) Dailey.

Interesting that the paper printed the girls’ names up-side-down, making the reader try to guess who they are.

In addition to my grandmother Gertrude and my great-aunt Alpha, a couple of the other names sound familiar. It turns out I have run across some of the names before.

Edna (Brewster) Abnet, the teacher, was Dora Edna Brewster (1892-1967), daughter of Daniel and Mary Loverda (Bebout) Brewster. Edna was my grandma Gertrude’s aunt and Edna’s father Daniel Brewster was my great-great-grandfather. Edna Brewster married Charles Calvin Abnet (1879-1960) and they had a son Don, who married Ruth E. Luginbill.

Augusta Blanch (Brewster) Rockwood (1897-1965) was the daughter of Daniel and Mary Loverda (Bebout) Brewster and a sister of Edna Brewster, the teacher. Augusta married Dale Henry Rockwood (1895-1965) and they had four children: Loverda (1915-1994), George Henry (1917-1920), Delno (1919-1985), and Veryl (1921-1998).

Clara (Fogle) Becher (1899-1980) was Clara Catharine Fogle, daughter of Samuel J. and Ida C. (Booher) Fogle.  She married Clarence Oliver Rehman “Raymond” Becher (1897-1956) in 1918. Raymond was the son of Jacob and Mary (Kettering) Becher. The Bechers attended Zion Chatt at one time.

My great aunt Alpha Ethel Brewster married Ralph Derickson (1894-1981) and they had children Pauline, Ruby, Elva, Ralph Jr, Alvin, and Paul. Ralph Jr was killed in Germany in 1945 during WWII.

Mount Carmel Church was a frame structure in rural Jefferson Township. It had a Geneva address and was located about two miles across the state line, about 4-5 southwest of Chatt. So it was not really all that far from Chatt. Google Maps indicates the address of the church was E 900 S, S 450 E. Back then it was an Evangelical United Brethren church (EUB), which is now United Methodist.

According to his obituary, Gertrude’s father Philip Brewster was a janitor at the Mount Carmel Church for many years.

This is the second family-related photo I have seen in “From the Old Album.” The other is a wonderful five-generation photo that also includes some good family history information. My grandmother Gertrude is also in the photo below. She is the little girl and the photo was probably taken about 1898. I appreciate that copies of both articles were saved by someone in our family.

Five Generation Photo, Cottrell, Headington, Reid, Brewster; The Graphic, 18 April 1957.

My ancestors in the photo above: William Reid, Gertrude (Brewster) Miller, Mary Ann (Cottrel) Headington, Pearl (Reid) Brewster, and Elvira (Headington) Reid. I have written about this photo before.

Aug 15

Tombstone Tuesday–Mary Olga (Huffman) Bollenbacher

Mary Olga (Huffman) Bollenbacher, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Mary Olga (Huffman) Bollenbacher, located in row 7 of Kessler Cemetery [aka Liberty Cemetery], Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Mary O.
Wife of
William G.
Aug. 12, 1889
Nov. 16, 1920

Mary Olga Huffman was the daughter of George F. and Sarah Roseann (Dodge) Huffman, born in Adams County, Indiana, on 12 August 1889. Her baptism is recorded in Zion Lutheran Chatt’s records, which tell that she was baptized at home on 6 November 1892. Jacob Huffman and Maria Kessler served as her sponsors. Her sister Maggie Iona Huffman, born 18 Aug 1892, was baptized that same day, with Jacob Bollenbacher and his wife serving as her sponsors. Their surname was recorded as Hoffmann in their baptism records as well as some of the other entries.

In 1900 Mary Olga Huffman, reportedly 10 years old, lived with her family on their farm in Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana. They had moved there from Liberty Township, Mercer County, in about 1884. [1]

Mary Olga married William George Bollenbacher on 6 February 1907 in Adams County, Indiana. William was the son of Jacob and Lena (Distler) Bollenbacher. According to their marriage license William was a farmer and Mary’s occupation was farmer’s daughter. It was the first marriage for both. [2] They were married by John Ault, Justice of the Peace. [3]

Two Huffman sisters married Bollenbacher brothers. Mary Olga’s sister Maggie Iona Huffman married William’s brother Jacob Dewald Bollenbacher.

William and Mary (Huffman) Bollenbacher resided in Jefferson Township, Adams County, and in 1910 they had two children, Lulu I, 2; and Harold, 6 months. Lulu was reportedly born in Ohio, while Harold was born in Indiana. William Bollenbacher farmed. [4] Their son Harold would eventually own and operate Bollenbacher’s Grocery in Chatt.

By 1920 Mary and William had four children. Their family in 1920: William, 34; Mary O, 30; Lula I, 12; Harold A, 10; Gladys V, 6; and Alvin L, 3. William still farmed. [5]

Mary Olga (Huffman) Bollenbacher died of nephritis rheumatism and pyemia [blood poisoning/septicemia] on 16 November 1920, likely at their home in Jefferson Township. She had suffered with the condition for six months and was only 31 years, 3 months, and 5 days old. The informant of information on her death certificate was Maggie Huffman of Geneva, Indiana. The undertaker was Wells Brothers, Geneva, and Mary was buried on the 18th. [6]

William and Mary Olga (Huffman) Bollenbacher had the following children:
Lulu I Bollenbacher (1907-2001), married Gerald Farlow
Harold (1909-1992), married Martha White
Gladys (1913-2004), married Robert Stuber
Alvin L (1916-1985), married Pauline Rupert
Mary Helen (1920-2006), married Charles Baker


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.11A, dwelling & family 198, Geo F Huffman;; FHL microfilm 1240357, NARA microfilm T623, roll 357.

[2] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images,, William G Bollenbacher & Mary Olga Huffman; Adams County Marriage License Applications, Vol. 2, p.89; FHL microfilm 2321466.

[3] Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images,, William G Bollenbacher & Mary Olga Huffman, 6 Feb 1907; Adams County Marriages, Vol. 1, p.179; FHL microfilm 2321629.

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.8B, dwelling & family 165, William G Bollenbacher;; FHL microfilm 1374351, NARA microfilm T624, roll 338.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.6B, dwelling 125, visited 135, William G. Bollenbacher;; NARA microfilm T625, roll 420.

[6] Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Death Certificates, 1920, roll 19; Mary Olga Bollenbacher, 16 Nov 1920;; Indiana State Board of Health Death Certificates, 1900-2011, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Aug 11

From an Old Negative to a Digital Photo

A few weeks ago I found an old negative, 2¼ x 3¼ inches, among some old papers. I could tell there were three people and a tractor in the photo. In the past I have sent negatives away to have them digitized but I wondered if I could do this one myself. I decided to give it a try.

I scanned the negative with my Flip Pal portable scanner and then transferred that digital image to my laptop.

Scanning negative with Flip Pal scanner.

I opened the image of the negative with my photo program and in the editing section I selected Negative—Invert Image (all channels).

Old 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 negative after scanning with Flip Pal.

It worked! I got a fairly good digital image from the negative I scanned. It is a little scratched up but the negative was dull and scratched to begin with.

Negative after converting to digital photo. Carl, LaVerne, and Kenny Miller, c1944.

This experiment worked with this size negative but a smaller negative may not work. I use a free photo program called IrfanView, which I downloaded from the Internet. It suits my needs and is user-friendly.

The photo was taken in the barnyard just east of the old Miller farmhouse. My grandpa Carl Miller is sitting on the John Deere tractor. Two of his sons, my uncle Vernie and my uncle Kenny are standing nearby with Spot the family dog. My dad was probably in the Army at the time the photo was taken, likely around 1944-45.

My uncle Kenny mentioned that they had a tractor with metal wheels, similar to a McCormick Deering 10-20, before they had this John Deere tractor. Before that they used horses to pull wagons and other farm machinery.

I tried the same procedure with a 35mm slide but the results were not good. It ended up looking like a very poor quality photo.


Aug 08

Tombstone Tuesday–Clarence Huffman

Clarence Huffman, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Clarence Huffman, located in row 7 of Kessler Cemetery, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The small heart-shaped marker, embellished with fern leaves, is inscribed:

Son of
G.F. & Sarah
Apr. 5, 1900
11 D.
Our darling baby

Clarence was the last child born to George Ferdinand and Sarah Roseann (Dodge) Huffman. He was born near New Corydon, Jefferson Township, Adams County, Indiana, on 25 March 1900, as calculated from information on his tombstone. His death certificate does not give his age or date of birth and I was unable to find his birth certificate on-line.

The Huffman family attended Zion Lutheran Church in Chatt for a short time after George and Sarah were married but there is no mention of their son Clarence in the church records.

Clarence died of bronchitis on 5 April 1900 at their home near New Corydon. His doctor was from Chatt, but I was not able to read his name. The handwriting on his death certificate is difficult to read and there were several words that I could not make out. [1] It appears he may have been ill from the day he was born or became ill shortly after birth.

Clarence Huffman, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)

Although he was born in 1900 Clarence was not enumerated in the 1900 census because he died in April and the census was taken on 25 June. In that census Sarah reported that six of her seven children were living. [2]

Clarence is buried next to his older sister Emma V. Both are buried under what is now a large tree.

Clarence Huffman, Kessler Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2017 photo by Karen)


[1] Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-1900, microfilm roll 1, Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011;; Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Jefferson, Adams, Indiana, ED 4, p.11A, dwelling & family 198, Geo F Huffman;; FHL microfilm 1240357, NARA microfilm T623, roll 357.

Aug 04

Summer Reading

Retirement is good. It gives me the time to do things I have been putting off because I didn’t have the time. That’s the way it is supposed to work–having the extra time for things like reading. I love to read but somehow I got out of the habit of reading the last few years. Other things always seemed to take priority.

But this summer I have made it a point to change that and start reading more again. And no, I don’t mean trying to translate and read an old German-American Cookbook like I wrote about last week.

So what have I been reading? A practical how-to book for starters.

The older I get I wonder who will want my genealogy research collection after I am gone. The collection would include research data, photos, documents, and other artifacts. Keeping all those things organized has always been a challenge for me but I never considered that organization could benefit me as well as the future recipient of my collection.

A Karen’s Chatt reader told me about a book she wrote that addresses those points. I downloaded her book to my Kindle and read it this past week. It is not a long book, but a quick read of 98 pages, and it will be handy to pull out for future reference.

Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past, Marian Wood, 2016.

The book, authored by Marian Burk Wood, is Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past: How to organize your genealogy materials, make decisions about your collection, and pass what you know to future generations. It was published in October 2016. I have the Kindle edition but it is also available in paperback by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Marian is a New York City native and was in marketing before co-authoring a number of college textbooks. She is also an avid family genealogist, genealogy lecturer, and genealogy blogger of Climbing My Family Tree.

Marian’s book gives step-by-step suggestions for organizing family genealogy research data, photos, documents, and family heirlooms. Her ideas go beyond basic organization and include sorting, labeling, filing, cataloging, and indexing. All things that are helpful to me.

The book addresses the subject that all genealogists will face someday: what will happen to our genealogy collections when we are gone? So her organizational tips are not only helpful to me today they are also aimed at helping the future recipient of my genealogy collection.

Marian’s book points out how helpful cataloging and indexing the different family collections would be for the interested person who will some day inherit a collection. Basically, if everything is organized, divided, and labeled it will make it easier for that person to know what has already been researched and collected. The book offers advice about passing on genealogical materials, setting up a genealogy “will,” and even includes some sample forms.

In addition her book covers sharing research information and allocating ownership of family photos and heirlooms–what to keep yourself and how to decide what to do with the rest.

I plan to put many of the organizational ideas into action. Thanks, Marian, for some very good suggestions.

My summer reading has also included a non-fiction genealogy mystery series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin—The Forensic Genealogist series, featuring fictional genealogist Morton Farrier.

The Missing Man, Nathan Dylan Goodwin.

As far as I know there are currently six books in the series and I am reading the sixth. I like to try to read them in order, although you do not have to follow the specific order.

These books are hard for me to put down. Morton Farrier is a forensic genealogist and his client research takes some very interesting twists and turns. As the genealogical mystery unfolds I like the way the story goes back and forth in time, from the present to the past, allowing the reader to learn what actually happened in the past. In addition, Morton has his own personal genealogy mystery to solve.

The Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogist mystery series books:
Hiding the Past
The Lost Ancestor
The Orange Lilies
The America Ground
The Spyglass File
The Missing Man

I hope Goodwin has plans to write a few more books in the Farrier series.

The Spyglass File, Nathan Dylan Goodwin.

Another genealogy mystery series is the Sweeney St. George Mysteries by Sarah Stewart Taylor. I have read all of these:

O’Artful Death
Mansions of the Dead
Judgment of the Grave
Still as Death

There is at least one other genealogy series by a different author and I have those books loaded on my Kindle, ready to begin reading.

Earlier in the summer I enjoyed reading The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck. This is not a genealogy mystery but is a historical fiction novel set in Germany during and after WWII.

I am so enjoying having the extra time to read!

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