Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year, New Family Calendar

For several years I have been making calendars for my family. (Read the related posts below for details.) I usually wrap them up & give them to the family on Christmas. Because of the Pandemic, I took a tower of mailers off to the post office on December 7th. Some of those are still stranded somewhere and not yet delivered.

This year's calendar cover shows vintage photos of my father & his siblings. Inside, my family can read about each of these wonderful people; learn about our ancestors; and see photos of this year's wedding, engagement, birthdays & other special occasions. I give these calendars as gifts each year to my family to show my love for them.

Related Posts: 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Christmas Memory from 1928 NY


These little Christmas ornaments were purchased by my maternal grandparents, 

Nathaniel Gardner & Helen F. Coyle Gardner

They were actually electric bulbs to be lit on the tree.

Nathaniel & Helen bought these the year my mother was born; 

her first Christmas 1928 in New York City. 

My mother, Alberta Joy Gardner Brown, gave these little treasures to me.

I do not hang them because I do not want them to fall & break but I put them out on display in a little clear glass bowl. I think they are adorable and quite special.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas


This year, because of the Pandemic, our homes have become,
more than ever, the center of our lives.
Our wish for you is a home filled with peace & joy.


Monday, December 21, 2020

A Christmas Memory from the Michael Coyle Family

Here is a Christmas memory from Kathleen Gloria Coyle who lived in New York City as a girl.

My grand aunt, Kathleen G. Coyle, was a very private person but there were times when she would open up and give me a glimpse of her life as a young girl in New York City. She was born in 1916, the child of Irish immigrants. She was the youngest of seven children. Her father, Michael Coyle, was a baker.

Kathleen Gloria Coyle
31 October 1916 NY - 21 November 2007 AZ

My aunt told me she remembered looking for the longest stocking possible to hang on the mantle before going to bed on Christmas Eve. Since she was the youngest, her stockings were always the littlest. However, she wanted to get lots of treats so she looked for a long one to hang.

Little Kathleen would go to bed on Christmas Eve and her mother would wake her up at midnight. Their apartment would be dark. Her mother would lift little Kathleen out of bed and hold her up.  As her mother walked through their apartment Kathleen would pull the strings to turn on the lights all over their home.  Kathleen’s mother said this was to light the way for Jesus to come. They’d hear the Church bells ringing.  Then they’d go in the parlor and see the tree and the gifts, none of which had been there before Kathleen went to sleep. There would be candles on the tree and pots of water set around the base for safety. After briefly admiring the lights, they’d be blown out.

Friday, December 18, 2020

A Christmas Memory from my Childhood

Here is a Christmas memory of my own...

At Christmas time there was always lots of baking, especially on
Christmas Eve. My brothers and I all helped. My oldest brother, Lance, was good at stirring the big bowls of thick batter. He could stir thick buttery batter when our mother’s mix master could not. The kitchen would be in a delicious disorder. The counter would be covered with canisters of flour and sugar, teaspoons and measuring cups, spoons and spatulas. On the table we’d have red and green sprinkles and chocolate chips. Decorating the cookies was great fun. We’d make several types of cookies. I liked the Sptitz cookies that we made using a metal cookie press, loading the dough inside and then pushing the handle with just the right amount of pressure to make the shapes of trees, wreaths, reindeer and bells. Making and baking all those cookies and restoring the kitchen to order again was a huge job for our mother. She’d be moving from the stove to the table and back again, with hot trays of cookies. Our attention would be divided between watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas, wrapping the last presents, hanging up Christmas cards, and giving her a hand. I’m sure our mother was hot and tired but she kept smiling and baking making Christmas special for us.


Those favorite Spritz cookies were from our mother’s Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book [unsure of the year of publication because the cover is missing.]


Spritz Cookies


Mix thoroughly: 1 cup soft butter; 2/3 cup sugar; 3 egg yolks; 1 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring. Work in with hands: 2 ½ cups sifted flour. Force the dough through cooky [sic] press onto ungreased baking sheets in desired shapes. Bake until set but not brown. 400 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies


Monday, December 14, 2020

A Christmas Memory from Ireland

A Christmas memory from Ireland... This Christmas card is evidence of the connection
between our family in Ireland and our family New York City. The Daniel Mullane family lived in Clonmel, Tipperary 
Ireland. Daughter, Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle left Ireland in 1885 for the United States where she married Michael Coyle and raised seven children. 

This Christmas  card was sent from the Mullanes in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland to the Coyles in New York City, c. the mid 1930s. 


The card was signed by Aunt Ellen (Ellen Mullane, 1874 – 1952) and Uncle Dan (Daniel J. Mullane, Jr., 1882 – 1965). They were the siblings of Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle [deceased]. It was sent to the daughters of Mary Josephine, the Coyle sisters, Marguerite (Coyle) Marshall, Lillian A. Coyle and Kathleen G. Coyle. After Mary Josephine's death in 1927, her daughters continued to keep the connection alive. It must have been a special connection because the card was treasured and saved and is still in the family.



Friday, December 11, 2020

Christmas Gift for my Dad, 1939 OH

This book was a gift to my father,
from his mother's sister,
for Christmas 1939.

Fortunately, my Great Aunt Wava wrote in the front of the book, signing  and dating it.

At that time my father was 11 years old. His aunt was 20. They were both living in Ohio. A year later, my grandparents moved their family to New York State. They had a large extended family in Ohio; through Ivy Regina Mark Brown, my grandmother. My grandmother must have missed her family terribly. My father talked about his Ohio relatives and we visited Ohio a few times when my brothers and I were small. 

The book, Beautiful Stories of the Bible, was printed in 1937.
There are several black & white illustrations. It is well worn. 

1938 Photo of the Mark Sisters:
left to right: 
Viola Cathern Mark Nothstein,
 Isabel Esther Mark Nee,
 Ivy Regina Mark Brown [my grandmother]
and Wava Alice Mark Braun

They were the daughters of 
Thomas Kenneth Mark (1879 OH - 1975 OH) &
N. Regina Victoria Gruissy (1879 OH - 1959 OH)

Monday, December 7, 2020

A Christmas Memory from the Thomas K. Mark family, OH

Here is a Christmas Memory 

from my grand aunt,

Viola Cathern (Mark) Nothstein, 1913 – 2004,

 daughter of Thomas K. & 

N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark. 

She talked about Christmas in Ohio when she was a girl, 

one of seven children.


Viola said her father, Thomas Kenneth Mark (1879 - 1975), dressed up as Santa Claus for the program at church. He wore a red costume from the church. Viola said, “I remember one year when we were pretty small Owen got up in church and said, ‘That’s my Daddy!’ Another time Dad had a turkey for the church.  After the program Daddy come over to home and he had the red suit on and he’d said. ‘Now you guys better be in bed before I get back.’ He always done a lot around the church. If they wanted anything fixed they would always ask Dad.”

Thomas Kenneth Mark

19 Jul 1879 OH - 12 Feb 1975 OH

Related Posts:


Thursday, December 3, 2020

December Anniversary: Jeremiah G Smith & Rose E Brumfield; 1798 SC

Jeremiah George Smith

23 December 1773 SC – 1843 MS

Son of Jeremiah Smith, Sr. & Jemimah Hollis



Joanna Dillon

22 August 1778 NC – after 1821 MS

Daughter of Richard Dillon & Anne Lawrence


My 4x great grandparents


Married 16 December 1798 SC


Parents of 

Hollander Smith Morris

Martha P. Smith Alford

Elias V. Smith

Jane Smith Warner

Edwin Smith

Wyatt Smith

Eliza Smith Bullock

Calvin Smith

Lidda Smith Harvey

Mehala Smith

Milevey Smith Harvey

Joanna Smith Bullock

Jeremiah Smith 


Other December Anniversaries:


3 December 1754 SC                 Jacob Ott I & Margaret Fitchtner          266 years ago

My 6x great grandparents


6 December 1868 OH           Augustus Ceaser Gruissy & Esther B. Wolf     152 years ago

My 2x great grandparents


8 December 1910 LA         Dewitt W Alford & Ina Lucille Brown                   110 years ago

My great aunt & uncle


20 December 1818 MS      Edwin Barksdale Alford & Martha P. Smith      202 years ago

My 3x great grandparents


21 December 1887 MS           Jasper P. Brown & Rose Ella Brumfield           133 years ago

My great grandparents


24 December 1921 LA              James A. Ball & Mildred O. Brown              99 years ago

My great aunt & uncle


29 December 1933 NY            Wilfred S. Marshall & Marguerite C. Coyle    87 years ago

My great aunt & uncle


31 December 1924 OH     James Everett Mark & Effie M. Carter                  96 years ago

My 2x great aunt & uncle