A Kienlen Family Legend

Great-Grandmother Kienlen For as long as I can remember, my mother’s side of the family loved to tell stories about the quirkiness and adventures surrounding my Kienlen family ancestors. One of the most unique and delightful characters in this line of my family was Margaret Ann Bruegger (1853-1938) who was my 2X great-grandmother. Margaret was born in Highland, Grundy County, Illinois, on 03 July 1853[1] to Alois Bruegger (1816-1872) and Maria Kirri (1820-1903) both of Read More …

Tracing the life of William T Hughes

[Parents of William T Hughes – Part 2] Starting with what I know In order to begin tracing one’s ancestors, it is critical to always start “with what you know.” Right. Well, when I began tracing the life of William T Hughes (1821 – abt 1875), I didn’t know much. The few clues I had were based on his notation in my maternal grandmother’s family tree (see Image 1). From this single page of the family bible, Read More …

Some Gifts Just Keep on Giving

A Christmas surprise On Christmas 2016, our grandson received a very special gift from his great-aunt Trisha. She had made him a teddy bear that he calls, “Special Bear.” That name is perfect because his great-aunt had used family heirloom quilt tops to construct the bear (see Image 1). This is a story of how “Special Bear” came to be. But, it’s mostly the story of the fascinating woman, Kate Emeline Harrell, who originally hand-stitched the quilt Read More …

The Harrell Family and the Mehitibel Mess

My Harrell Family roots My husband will tell you that I have spent several hours every day during the past 2-3 weeks consumed with researching my Harrell Family line. He is correct that I have done little else during this time. It seemed that the more I browsed and read whatever I could find online about this family, the more confused I became. There were just too many family members with the same given names Read More …