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Becky Jamison
  • Female
  • Canon City, CO
  • United States
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'Grace and Glory' Blog

I found Helen Keller's letter in an old Autograph Book

We're getting ready to move to another house in the next few weeks so today I spent time going through our several hundreds of books to determine if I can possibly eliminate some of them. I discovered this little autograph book that we had purchased many years ago at a Used Book sale. As I  opened it, I found these first two pages:

The book was obviously a possession of a Ronald Simpson, whose mother was Mrs. S. O. Simpson, and whose sister was perhaps Carolyn Simpson. 

Tucked inside this book was the following letter:
One of the pages of the Autograph Book also holds Helen Keller's autograph, written in pencil.

I invite you to take a minute to read the letter. It offers a rare personal look into the heart and mind of Helen Keller and offers a valuable perspective into the life of a deaf and blind person. It's well worth the time to read it! 

I feel privileged to have this letter and look at it as the reward for my hard work in sorting through books and my willingness to consider letting some of them go. I may have missed this little gem otherwise. 

This chart shows how Helen Keller is my cousin.

My Dad would Love this Cousin Connection

As I've been exploring cousin connections, I've found many surprises. I posted this chart yesterday showing how my father's Volga German ancestry was connected to cousins on my mother's side of the family, who were not Volga Germans. 

I continued to look at descendants of the Richard Hill and Sarah Strait family and noticed the name of Acuff. Being the daughter of Ernie Margheim, I KNOW that Acuff name. Dad, as "The Sunflower Wrangler" was a singer/guitarist of Western music in the late 1930s and 1940s. He had quite a collection of Western music and memorabilia, among which were recordings and song books of Roy Acuff. 
This chart illustrates my connection through cousins to the late Roy Acuff. His 2nd cousin (2 generations back), Zulema Wallace married Mark Cord Hill, my 5th cousin 3 generations removed. I know my dad knows of this connection now, but it would've been fun to have had the opportunity to show him and discuss this while he was alive. My dad was interested in the family history decades before I ever caught on. He'd be so thrilled.

Connecting my Father's Family to my Mother's Family

This week Jerry Michel posted this photo on the Facebook page for the Russell County Historical Society of Germans from Russia. 
Jerry identified the couple as Johann George Bender, Sr, (1803-1913) and his third wife, Maria Katherine Schneider, who were married 13 May 1883 in Russell County, Kansas. 
My dad's father, John Ludwig Margheim was born in Russell county, Kansas to German parents who were also from the Volga River area of Russia. I knew the Margheims were associated in many ways with Bender and Schneider families, so I did some research into this couple pictured above. 

As a result of my research, I was able to prepare this chart, which is also pictured above at the start of this post. 
Let me guide you through this maze of cousin connections. At the bottom left is me, Rebecca Margheim, shown as the wife of Larry Jamison. My dad's ancestry goes up to his mother Amalia "Mollie" Koleber and on up to her great grandfather, Johann H. Koleber, born 1817 in Russia. Besides son Johann H. Koleber, the Senior Johann had daughter Maria, wife of George J. Maier. Maria, her husband and family are pictured at the top left of the illustration above. Their daughter Louisa Maier married John Bender. You can see their wedding photo under their name. 

John Bender's grandfather was the Johann George Bender whose photo was posted on Facebook yesterday. But John's grandmother was the first wife of Johann, being Maria Schwien. Johann George and Maria (Schwien) Bender's great granddaughter Manetta Bender married Archibald Parkhurst. Archibald's mother was Letha Cochran and her third cousin was Leo Cochran, the husband of Geneva Hill. 

I knew I had some Hill cousins so I looked up Geneva on Family Search and found the rest of her Hill lineage. Her great, great grandmother was Sarah Strait, wife of Richard Hill. I'm a third cousin five times removed of that same Sarah Strait. In the chart above you can see that my mother Ruby Flanders is a seventh cousin of Geneva Hill. 

So at the bottom right, you see me again, as the descendant of Ruby Flanders and Ernest Margheim. The chart I've prepared shows the cousin connection between my paternal ancestors and my maternal ancestors. The connection is meaningful to me because, as I grew up, I thought these two families were worlds apart. They were on opposite ends of the spectrum in MY world. Little did I suspect that they could be connected through cousin marriages. My world is getting smaller all the time!

Becky Jamison's Page

Profile Information

What surnames are you interested in researching?
Margheim, Koleber, Flanders, Becker, Strait, McMillan, Jamison, Haught, Roberts, King, Bell, Dale, Dietz, Jones, Smith, Marker, Hardin
What countries and other locations are you interested in researching?
Germany, United States,
What is your level of genealogy knowledge?
Intermediate Family History Researcher
For what reason did you start genealogy research?
I started genealogy research to continue work done previously by family members. I wanted to know who my ancestors were and to learn their stories!
Do you have a genealogy website or blog?

Gramma's House: My Personal Life Blog

Besides my genealogy blog "Grace and Glory", which you can see at left, I write a blog focusing on my family and my personal life. You're welcome to come and visit me at "Gramma's House"

I've also posted my family photo albums at Picasa Web. You're welcome to take a look.

"We live as long as we're remembered"! (Russian proverb)

Comment Wall (11 comments)

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At 12:49pm on March 26, 2011, Sherry Hightower gave Becky Jamison a gift
Hope you are having a great year so far! Please accept this little ribbon as my way of saying, while I may not visit GW much these days, I have not forgotten.
At 9:51am on August 25, 2010, Dee Shelton said…
My friend live in Cannon City CO. Her name is Patty Meigs. She is also addicted to Genealogy lol
At 6:56pm on July 31, 2010, Dee Shelton said…
Hi Becky;
I am glad to find someone else researching the Roberts family. You are my second Genealogy friend in Cannon City CO. Pat and I discovered that we are also cousins linked through my Allen family.

I will be very happy if you will accept me as your friend. I live in NC.

Thank you,

Dee Shelton
At 3:33pm on August 22, 2009, Monica Palmer said…
Hi Becky! I was excited to see someone else from Colorado! I've been to the main branch of Denver Public Library and looked at some of their resources... do you have any other suggestions for research in Colorado? Unfortunately, my ancestors are not from here. Mainly Ohio and California.
At 2:11pm on July 21, 2009, Kathryn Keller said…
Hey Becky. I just read your article in the World Vital Records Newsletter. Nice article.
At 2:56pm on July 13, 2009, Judith Richards Shubert said…
Hi there, Becky. Looks like this will be a pretty active site with a lot of positive results. Thanks for finding me.
At 10:51pm on July 11, 2009, Sherry Hightower said…
Becky..just saved this image to the computer. I'll work on it tomorrow
At 6:14pm on July 10, 2009, Carolyn Dunlap Franklin said…
Hi Becky!! This new site looks awsome!! I'm so glad we are friends! :)
At 7:08pm on July 8, 2009, Jeanie DiLeonardo said…
Becky, thank you for the friend request - I just learned about GenealogyWise minutes before I signed up, and to already get a friend request makes me feel welcome.
At 4:12pm on July 8, 2009, Jennifer Eklund, PLCGS said…
Thank you Becky for the friend request. :)




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