The Howle Home in Oklahoma Territory

A favorite family photo One of my treasured heirlooms is a photo of my Howle family grandparents standing in front of their home.[1] I had never seen this picture until after my grandmother Lillian Florence Howle (1902-1994) passed away in 1994. Not long after she died, we found an old trunk tucked away in the hall closet of her home. It was filled with letters, legal papers, and lots of photos. As I began going 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 …

Chipping away at my William T Hughes “brick wall”

Who’s his daddy? Who’s his mommy? At some point, every genealogist encounters a “brick wall” ancestor. These are the ancestors whose document trails baffle, frustrate, and block all attempts to trace and extend a family tree line at least one more generation further back. Running into these obstacles is inevitable. But sometimes, it is possible to break through them or, at least, chip away at them. My 2X great-grandfather, William T Hughes (1823-abt 1875), is 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 …