Thursday, December 28, 2017

Collecting A Cousin At Work

Growing up in rural Indiana, I lived near close cousins and went to school with many more who lived in the community.  Now that I'm an adult, I live a county north of where I grew up but work about 60 miles away from home.

I happen to work in Hamilton County, Indiana where I have ancestry that goes back to at least the 1840s with a number of Quaker settlers.  However, being next to metropolitan Indianapolis many of my co-workers are transplants to the area.  

Recently, I was surprised to hear a co-worker say that they grew up in the area.  Curious, I asked her what her maiden name was.  When she said "Chew", I quickly said "hello, cousin" and then preceded to ask about her family tree so that I could confirm the connection.

Turns out we are 5th cousins twice removed through our common ancestors Andrew Chew (1770-1827) and Anne Marie Barthus (1777-1860).  My co-worker and my grandmother are 5th cousins.

Andrew Chew (1770-1827) – Anne Marie Barthus (1777-1860)

Elizabeth Chew (1802-1881)                     brother/sister                  Joseph Chew (1798-1845)

John T. Beals (1827-1917)                          1st cousins                        Thomas F. Chew (1820-1904)

Nathan T. Beals (1856-1915)                     2nd cousins                        Elwood Chew (1856-1900)

Pearl M. Beals (1878-1970)                       3rd cousins                        Clifford Chew (1897-1971)

I was quickly able to show my co-worker some records on FamilySearch regarding her grandfather, and promised to see what else I could find.  Prior to this conversation, I did not have her line traced down beyond Joseph Chew, so this has given me the impetus to see what else I can uncover on the line.  My co-worker seemed interested to find out more.

While web surfing, I also uncovered a blog by someone who is doing research on the Chew line.  I need to reach out to him because he questions whether my Elizabeth was a Chew.  And of course, there is always more to document.  His blog is at

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday : Playing Santa

Piper & Brayden with Santa

Had a great Christmas this year, and especially enjoyed the opportunity to play Santa to my grandchildren.  Hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Celebrating 50 Years

December has been a busy month of celebrations and milestones for my family.  Not only do we have Christmas coming soon, but we celebrated my mom's birthday, my stepdaughter's birthday and my parents 50th anniversary.

We took my parents out to an anniversary dinner a few weeks ago and it was a good celebration as they had all three of their kids there and most of their grandchildren.  Dad & mom recounted the stories of how they met and dad surprised mom with an upgraded replacement engagement ring.  Apparently, she had lost the original years ago and it had never been replaced. It was an emotional time and mom was so surprised and happy.

Mom and dad were married December 7, 1967 in Muncie, Indiana.  From the Muncie Star of November 26, 1967:

Muncie Teacher to Wed Ord LeMaster of Portland

The engagement of Miss Gloria Jean Wright to Ord Weldon LeMaster is announced by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Wright, Alexandria. Mr. LeMaster is the son of Ord W. LeMaster, Portland.

Miss Wright is a graduate of Alexandria-Monroe High School and received a B.S. degree in elementary education from Ball State University. She is a third grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary in Muncie.

Mr. LeMaster is a graduate of Portland High School and Ball State, where he received a B.S. degree in history and geography. Attending Ball State graduate school, he is a history teacher at Dunkirk High School.

It was good to be able to celebrate this milestone with my parents.