Monday, March 16, 2015

Where Is John Stap Going Today?

John Stap Car 1920s

My great grandpa John Stap grew up in Lynden, Washington. It was, and still is, a small town. Today it  has about 13,000 people, but back in 1910 when the Stap family started living there, it had about 1,000 people.

They have their own paper, the Lynden Tribune, and because it's a small town, they had a tendency to print things in the newspaper on the everyday things that people were doing. On Newspapers.com, they have some searchable copies of the Lynden Tribune from 1908-1922. And since they liked to print the goings on about everyone, I found some fun things my great grandpa did.

November 23, 1916 


March 15, 1917


January 1, 1920

The cool thing is that you can see his handwriting in the 1920 federal census for Lynden.

Now, the mentions are not limited to John. There are many others from his family. Here is one that I liked about his mom, Trijntje.

July 31, 1919

This next mention about John's older brother Henry I found particularly loaded. Henry fought in France during World War I, and had been injured because of the gas that was used by the Germans. His return home had been delayed because he was too sick to travel. This one sentence simply states that he is back.

April 17, 1919

A few years later, Henry Stap would contract tuberculosis, and as a result had to be treated.

July 20, 1922

Not all news was sad news though. There were many more mentions of births and other things. This last one that I'll share was a discovery of a story that I hadn't ever heard before, about John's dad Jacob Stap. After finding it I asked relatives if they had heard it, and no one had because it had happened before any of them were born. So I guess that because of the diligence of this small town newspaper, at least one more family story has been preserved for history.

December 30, 1920

I hope that someday that they will add more newspapers to this collection. John Stap lived in Lynden the rest of his life and died in 1995. I wonder how many more parties and debates he attended during that time. I would like to find more stories someday....

Saturday, February 7, 2015

William Wisner's Obituary

I had requested some lookups at the Waukegan Public Library in Illinois, where the Wisner family lived the the second half of the 1800s. I had requested to see if they could find some birth mentions in the local newspaper, and just because, I also asked for an obit. They couldn't find any birth announcements, but did find the obit! It was for William Wisner, and although it was only 2 lines long, it was still significant. They sent me the clipped image, and it was poor quality, but you could still read:
 WISNER - Died at Avon, Ill., Nov. 25th 1877, of old age, William Wisner, aged 94 years and 8 months. He passed away like going to sleep.
The newspaper was the Waukegan Weekly Gazette, from Saturday December 8, 1877. It was an important find because death date for William that I had was August 25th, instead of November.

It is also interesting here that they give his age in years and months. I had seen a few different dates for his birth. The one that I thought was most correct was one that was listed in William's own Bible records, that someone was so kind to send me copies of. Here is a transcription of those records. It says he was born March 27, 1783, which is 94 years and 8 months from when he died, so everything lines up.

After looking at the transcription again, it looks like in the Bible records it also mentions William's death date as November instead of August, so again it's another confirmation that November is the correct date.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Genealogy Info...from Facebook

I had posted a picture up on the family Facebook page for "Throwback Thursday" a while back. It was a picture of my grandpa Lloyd Broersma and his brother Marv, riding their bikes on the farm when they were younger. Here is the pic and the caption I had put with it:

#TBT early 1940s, Lloyd and Marv Broersma on the farm in Lynden. In their free time they liked to chase goats on their bikes...or maybe they were just on their way to work. Anyone know which farm this was? The one on the Lundy Rd or on H Street Rd?
I was joking about the goat, and was really more interested in the farm, but got a great response from Marv.


I got a bunch of information about the goat! And it was interesting too, and it added context to the picture and about his life.

So, in the future I hope to use Facebook to get long distance information about family history.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Creepy Santa

This is my wife's mom when she was living in San Francisco in the 50's, and this mall Santa looks a little creepy to me. I wouldn't want to run into him in my house in the middle of the night. Also, is that a gun in his boot?

Lil Earls Christmas with Santa

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy 98th Birthday Grandma!

Happy birthday to my wife's grandma, Elva (Swanson) Earls! She turns 98 today. Her siblings have all lived into their 90's, but the oldest so far has been her older brother who made it to 98 also. Let's hope she makes it to 99! Here is a picture of her in 1920, when she was 4 years old.

Elva Charlotte Swanson ca 1920