Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Workday Wednesday - Grandma Annette with her Work Buddies, San Lorenzo, CA - Circa 1956

Here is a photo of my Grandma (on the far left), Annette Roehm Connors, posing with her co-workers at the Kaiser Plant in San Lorenzo, CA. Not only a hard worker, but a mother of 4 children at this time, she still managed to help contribute to bring money in and take care of her 4 small children.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Finding a way out


I mean, really, Hello! It's been awhile and I am ashamed of myself.

Not long after I wrote my last blog post in January, my grandmother (my last living grandparent who I had just gotten a DNA test on), went through a series of bad health problems, which ultimately caused her death on March 17th, at 8:44 am.

It was and has been one of the hardest deaths I've gone through. Coping through it has had it's moments of gratefulness, sadness, regrets, what if's, and many sleepless nights.

However, through it all, I have maintained that I will keep my Grandma's spirit alive by continuing to document her life (and her ancestors) through my blogging, research and archiving of her family documents.

Doing this has been one of the only ways I have been able to get through this.

I have been going to my Grandma's house, cleaning through many items of hers to search for missing photos, negatives or just important papers. It can be somewhat addicting to just keep going through things because she had SO much to go through (we've barely scratched the surface!). In the meantime, I have been working on a slideshow movie to celebrate not only her life, but also my grandfather's life (who died in 2014).

My grandma was like a second mother to me. I saw her frequently iver the last 5-6 years. I recorded many of her stories on my phone and with my camera. I loved these moments with her because for one of the first times in her life, she was just herself, relaxed and enjoying our time together.

Right now and for always, those are the times I miss the most. Instead of "Tuesdays with Morrie" - mine was "Saturdays with Annette." The loss is very painful, but in hindsight, it was also inevitable.

I will post her DNA results in the coming weeks, as they did come in and it was fairly interesting to see what came up, but there is one thing that's for certain - I am definitely her granddaughter :)

So, I promise, I will return, but my posts just may be farther in between.

Thanks for still reading, if anyone really is!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Happy 87th Birthday, Grandma Annette - Fashion & Style Edition!

My grandma turned 87 on January 3rd. I wanted to do a post about her life, but then I thought of something a little more fun! I thought of how she has always kept herself in tip top shape - pretty much her whole life.

This thought gave way to the idea of posting photos of her in (some of) her best fashion outfits throughout the years. She has always had a great sense of style and always has looked put together, as they call it. And, I must say, she had some great gams!

Annette holding her baby niece, Doris Jean, circa 1937-38, age 8-9, Wishek, ND, sporting a frilly dress and white shoes.
Annette was the 2nd youngest in her family, and all her siblings closest in age to her were brothers. She soon started to take on the role as the little Tom Boy in the family, and after this time, she became known as "Tommi." Tommi was also the name of the jeans she often war, such as above.
Annette in her either Junior High or Freshman year in High School, circa 1942-43, Richmond, CA, sporting a nice, warm jacket.
Annette posing for her brother, Alwin, sporting a cute floral dress and sweater, Richmond, CA.

Doris Roehm and Annette Roehm, sisters, but 14 years apart in age! Annette was outgrowing her Tom Boy clothes and growing up, sporting a stylish bathing suit, circa 1944-45.

Annette, at left, in the snow, sporting a cuffed sweatshirt and loose pants, circa 1946-47

Annette (center), wearing the fashionable shoes that were all the craze back in the 1940's, Richmond, CA.

Annette (at right) with her close friend, Opal, in front of their school, Richmond Union High.

Annette's High School Graduation photo, circa 1947.

Annette in Bear Lake, near Los Angeles, CA, in bathing suit, circa 1946-47. 

Annette with her 2nd born child, circa 1949.

 Annette showing off her legs for the camera, wearing a style fashionable for the early 1950's. 

Annette with her 1st husband, Frank, whom she had her four children with, circa 1956-57

 Vibert and Annette, her 2nd husband, on their wedding day, May 31st, 1959. She was wearing a fashionable short pleated dress, with small head piece.

 Annette, center, posting in front of the camera, wearing a common outfit, the shirt dress, circa 1959, in Valley City, North Dakota, visiting relatives. My mom is behind her, I believe.

Vibert and Annette, dressing the part of a classic Hollywood star, circa 1959.

 Annette, with her oldest daughter, Diane, and Vibert's mother, Beth, in Fremont, CA, circa 1966-67.
Heading into her 40's, and still dressing stylishly, in a cute double breasted blue coat, circa 1968-69

Wearing a cute pink striped shirt with a sailor tie and pink skirt, circa 1969.

Wearing a tan wool jacket, circa 1969, Fremont, CA.

 Wearing a white suited top and skirt, with Sash around it (cannot see in photo), circa 1969-70.
Vibert and Annette were going out on the town, Annette wearing a brocade like fabric short sleeved dress and matching jacket , circa 1968-69.

Annette posing again in a tan jacket and tweed skirt, circa 1969

Carole, Penny and Annette posing in May 1970, with my mom, Carole goofing off for the camera, Annette is wearing black shirt and brown pants.

Annette (far left), with daughter Carole, below her, with family, circa 1974, Annette wearing a laced sleeveless dress. 

Annette and Penny, circa 1974, Linden, CA. Annette wearing more casual bell bottoms and floral sleeveless top and belt that was made of coins.

Annette at a Las Vegas casino, circa 1974-75. She was being followed by a photographer for the casino,. . they thought she was a movie star and wanted to get pictures of one in their casino, according to the story relayed to me.

 Annette, Carole and Penny, dining out for the evening, circa 1976-77, Annette wearing a white wool coat lined with fur, with a red velvet dress and tapered white satin sides.

Annette dressing more casual, circa 1977-78

Annette, possibly attempting a Scarlett O'Hara effect, posing at the ranch, circa 1978-79

 Judy, Annette's daughter-in-law, and Annette's mother, Lydia, circa 1977, visiting in Washington, D.C., Annette is wearing a striped casual shirt with jeans.

Vibert and Annette, far left, posing with Carole and Dennis, with Dennis' parents, on their wedding day, September 1978. Annette is wearing a red, silky pantsuit.I also want to give a nod to my paternal grandmother for her pretty mint flowing dress.

Annette wearing a flowing light blue dress at the ranch, circa 1978-79.

Lydia, Carole and Annette, three generations, circa 1977-78, Annette wearing a red velvet dress with brocade top and straps.

Annette posing in front of her home at the ranch, circa 1980, wearing tan pants, red blouse and knitted vest.

 Annette, wearing a similar outfit as above, circa 1981

Me and my grandma Annette, circa 1990, Grandma wearing a light pink blazer with matching skirt and white blouse. Me, well, I was wearing a lace trimmed black dress and a bow in my hair.

Annette with her son's mother in law, Mary, Christmas 1995, wearing a black pantsuit and white top, and a fashion belt.

And, one of my favorite photos of my grandparents, Vibert and Annette, at Mother's Day brunch, circa 1992, with Annette wearing a gold blazer and white top. 

It's fun to take a step back and look at the fashion trends and see how everyone including my Grandma evolved their looks. It's cool to see how my Grandma decided to embrace each era's style that changed as she grew older. She chose what suited her body best and kept herself up to date, always looking her best. It took me a long time to notice just how fashionable she was until I started looking over many family photos. She wore classic cuts, and added some sparkles of trendy items, but kept it minimal. Thank you, Grandma, for being a chip off the fashion plate over the last 60+ years.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

McCabes of Ontario, Canada - The Curious Case of Emma McCabe

I am doing a little case study of my boyfriend's family tonight. His 2nd Great Grandmother Emma McCabe is going to be our subject.

Emma McCabe, unfortunately, has no confirmed surname at the moment, and it's a shame. We only have her married name of "McCabe," however, with persistence, we could eventually nail her surname down. Let's try doing that tonight!

For some time, I was convinced her surname was Morley, but after some research, I have found that I was on the wrong trail. 

The Emma McCabe I am looking for is the mother of Mary Josephine McCabe, who eventually married Henry Marris, and gave birth to my boyfriend's grandfather Morley Marris in Hamilton, Ontario.

According to Canadian Census records, over the course of 30 years, Emma McCabe lived in an area in London, Ontario called Strathroy-Caradoc, which is fairly close to Detroit, Michigan. Please see the map below:

Looking over several Canadian Census' over thirty years, you see some slight changes - Let's compare these and see if we can catch anything that can give us some more clues!

1861 Canadian Census - James McCabe is shown as being born in Upper Canada (U C) and his age is 34 years old and he's an Inn Keeper. Emma is 29 years old and at this time, they have only two young daughters.

1871 Canadian Census - There have been a few changes. Emma has had two more children. She is now 40 and James is 42. Their ages don't seem to quite match what the 1861 Census shows. James line of work is now showing as a Laborer. 

1881 Canadian Census - James is now showing as 60 and Emma as 50. There is an obvious discrepancy with their birth years, unless they were providing inaccurate information when they reported to the record keeper. This record is barely legible, so it's hard to say that whoever transcribed it got it right or wrong. Hopefully a better copy will show up soon. James' job has changed once more - he is now showing as an engineer. His children are showing as factory hands. It's hard to say just exactly what kind of work they were doing.

So, remember when I was giving up on the Emma Morley McCabe that I was speaking of earlier in my post due to her maiden name being McCabe, when I was hoping it was actually Morley? Well, I have not lost total hope on this lead. Let's look at things from a different direction this time -

One of Emma's and James daughters, Laura, married a Charles Hand, who was from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada and according to the 1891 Canadian Census, his occupation was stated as Hotel Keeper [at St. Clair House]. There just happens to be a hotel in Sarnia named Vendome Hotel - see below - with further research, I found shows that Charles Hand died just three years after the Vendome Hotel was built and his wife actually owned it afterwards, having her son, Charles Hand Jr, take over as Inn Keeper when he came of age. The hotel was in the family until as late as the 1930s. Unfortunately, the hotel was razed in the 1970's for a parking lot:

Remember when James McCabe was an Inn Keeper in his younger years? So, this is starting to all to come together. Remember later on James McCabe became an engineer. He may have been an Engineer at this particular hotel, and his daughters could have been workers ("factory hands") here, too.

What ties this all together? Look at my lead for the Emma Morley McCabe Death Certificate below: 


Notice anything of interest? Yes, Emma McCabe happened to die at the Hotel Vendome in 1909. This may very well be our very same Emma McCabe. The only really confusing part of this Death Certificate is that it's naming James McCabe as her father. Was this just a typo? Addendum: After sharing this post with a family member of my boyfriend's, they suggested that whoever told the person the family info may have confused their own father (James McCabe) with Emma McCabe's own father, and therefore the reason why James McCabe is named as her father, when in reality he was her husband and her children's father. 

Nevertheless, all the evidence points to this being the actual Emma McCabe that we were hoping for , but weren't sure until now!

So, below is what we can now say about Emma McCabe and her life -

- She was from Norwich, England, born July 26th 1830.
- She lived in Strathroy-Caradoc, a suburb of London, Ontario, Canada and married James McCabe of Ireland there, starting their family of 4 children.
- She died on August 9th, 1909, at the age of 79, at the Vendome Hotel, the hotel her daughter Laura [McCabe] Hand owned at the time, from septicemia.


Billy Ryder and the Vendome Hotel