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Sunday, November 27, 2011

A November Genealogy Birthday

This year, my mother's 77th birthday was the day before Thanksgiving. In August, I gave my father a book that I compiled of his family's genealogy for his birthday. So It was not a surprise to my parents that when my mother's birthday came around, that I would be bringing a book for her.

My mother still enjoys hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner and I went to my parents home to help her get things ready on the day before Thanksgiving, which also happened to be her birthday. When I had arrived, she had just put her pumpkin pie in the oven. I interrupted her Holiday preparations with her birthday present, but she was happy to take time for her present. My father was there and his brother was also there visiting.

Of course, it started with reading the birthday card.

Here you can see my father is coming over to also look at the card.

Now time for the birthday present!

I used the same design on my mother's book as on my father's book and just modified the family name.
It is just a crest style design with the family name, not an official crest.

I printed documents for my mother's paternal direct line. I was able to trace not only her grandparents but also her great grandparents who immigrated from Russia to Kansas.

I also printed out her direct line on her maternal side of the family. I can go back several generations, but still have not found a connection to Jefferson Davis. We do have 2 Jefferson Davis's in our family, just not the famous one. He was suppose to have been a distant cousin to my grandmother. I may never know for sure.

She eagerly paged through the book and I talked about a few things that I had discovered while researching the documents.

It was common knowledge in her family, that in Oct. 1886, her grandfather, Andrew Bahl, jumped the ship in New York and the rest of the Bahl family went on to Argentina. He was told he either needed a sponsor or a job to stay in New York and he immediately got a job.

The family said Andrew met his wife on the ship, it was love at first sight and they got married. My mother said his wife Kathryn, taught him English. I found this curious since she was also an immigrant from Russia. Digging through the census data and the immigration records and passenger lists, I found that my mother's grandmother, immigrated to the US when she was about 4 years old in Jul of 1876. She was raised in Hays, Kansas. My guess is, that she was a young woman on that ship returning from a visit to Europe, most likely to visit family. I need to see if I can find the ship data that will help me prove this idea.

Hays, Kansas, is the town my mother said that her father was born in 1892. The first census that I have found both Kathryn and Andrew is 1900, in Spiro, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. I need to find more data between 1876 and 1892.

Here my mother is looking at some historical photos I printed up for her of Kansas in the 1800's and early 1900's.  She is really enjoying the book. I think I will have many volumes by the time I have all our family documented. It is really a joy to do this kind of work and give it as a gift to my family.

Thanksgiving to me is always about being thankful for the family I have. I can't think of a better gift for a birthday this time of year.