Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Calendar!

Happy New Calendar! Want to make a genealogy gift that your family gets excited about? How about making a genealogy gift that your cousins look at almost daily? Well, I began making calendars years ago and it has become a hit. All year long cousins send me photos for the calendar. And when Christmas gets close they start asking when the calendar will be ready. Their enthusiasm fills my heart & motivates me to start another for the next year!

These are things I include in the calendar each year:
  • Birthdays of living & deceased family members. The first birthday each year is Mary Spurlock Brown b 1 January 1800 in GA, my 3x great grandmother. Next on 5 January is my 1st cousin, once removed. Whenever I can I include a photo of the birthday person. 
  • Anniversaries of living & deceased family members. I include all I know & highlight special anniversaries, 10, 20 or 30 years. This year my younger brother and his wife get special notice for their 40th anniversary. I include photos of the special couple. 
  • Photos! Photos! Photos of weddings, anniversaries, travels, school events, scouts, babies,... Vintage photos & recent photos; formal and candid photos. I do ask for clear photos. Out of focus photos are difficult to work with and frustrating to see people's faces. 
  • Historical notes. I add brief family history. Who was our longest lived direct ancestor? Which couple was married the longest? Or a brief history of each family branch.
  • Family Chart, How are we related? This year one of our daughters made a chart that I put on the back of the calendar so people can understand how we are all connected.

As our family grows it can be harder to know who everyone is. This year I put a border around each person's photo. The color of the border lets people know which branch of the family that person is from. For example, photos of my parent's descendants have a white border around them. 

I have tried various programs to make these calendars. My favorite is Mixbook. Their program gives lots of flexibility. I can add as many photos and as much text as I want. The birthdays and anniversaries are saved so that I do not have to reenter those each year. They give me a discount because I order many copies & that is very helpful!

Here are photos of my family with this year's calendar.


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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Monday, December 19, 2022

Oh Family Tree/ Christmas Tree


Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree!
Thy leaves are so elusive
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Thy names are always changing
Not only in census reports,
But also in obituaries.
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Thy names are always changing!

Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Such puzzles do you bring me!
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
You confuse and bewilder me!
For every year this Family tree,
Brings to us such mystery.
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
Such puzzles do you bring me!

Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
You'll be ever changing!
A story of our ancestors
You'll be ever changing
Each date and place
Each misspelled name
No one alive spreads tales so well
Oh Family tree, Oh Family tree,
You'll be ever changing.

Colleen G Brown Pasquale

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Ohio Christmas Memory

 Here is a Christmas Memory from my grand aunt,

 Viola Cathern (Mark) Nothstein, 1913 OH – 2004 FL, 

daughter of Thomas K. & N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark.

 She talked about Christmas in Ohio when she was a girl, one of seven children.

Thomas Kenneth & Nancy Regina V. (Gruissy) Mark

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.”

Friday, December 9, 2022

A Time to Write: 3. Edit, Edit, Edit!



I am working on writing, Our Brown Roots, the history of my paternal grandfather’s family & its many leaves & branches. I am trying to focus my time & efforts on finishing up that huge project but will give some time to posting about the procedure here.

Here is an update on my progress with my book. I am very happy to have my first cousin, Nancy Jo (Brown) Dilley, helping me by editing this massive project. We have poured over every word, name, comma and quotation mark in the pages of this book. One chapter at a time, Nancy has read, edited and commented on our family's story. Then we met so we could look closely at each page.  We'd focus on every place her bright orange marker left a smiley face, a question mark, or note for me to address. My well read librarian cousin has given me very useful insights and comments. 

After years of researching and writing about the 13 family branches in this book, I needed a second pair of eyes. I need someone who is not a genealogist. Most of my eventual readers will not be genealogists so I need that point of view. Have I explained land grants, relationships and historical settings so they are understandable? Are my charts and maps confusing or clear?

Nancy would had me one chapter at a time to edit and then we would move on to the next. We worked our way through the over 800 pages!

I saved my Word document on a thumb drive and drove over to my local Staples. They printed 2 copies and returned them to me in two heavy boxes. We emptied our 2 inch binders and refilled them with this draft. What will we do now?


Friday, December 2, 2022

A Time to Write: 2B The MOST Elusive People

I am working on writing, Our Brown Roots, the history of my paternal grandfather’s family & its many leaves & branches. I am trying to focus my time & efforts on finishing up that huge project but will give some time to posting about the procedure here.

When I last posted about my progress on my book in progress, OUR BROWN ROOTS, I explained that having researched 13 branches of my paternal grandfather’s family, I was finishing up with my closest family stories. I was writing about my paternal grandparents and their children. How hard can that be?


Well, it is more a more delicate procedure. In writing about difficult financial situations, marriages the have not endured or other painful situations I do not want to offend any cousins. In writing the true story of my family I do not need to include every bad decision (I’ve made plenty of those.) or every family dispute in order to paint a true picture of my grandparents, my aunts and uncle. 


In asking for stories about my aunts and uncles we sometimes found ourselves in tears. The more we loved them, the more the memories, the smiles and the tears. 


One branch at a time, I consulted cousins. (translation: I became a nuisance, asking for photos, military document, letters and photos.) I wrote their chapters and gave them the printed versions of their family’s story for approval before moving on to the next cousin to bother. Thanks to all those cousins! 

(If you are a first cousin who has something more to tell, tell me today!)


Two ladies who have been enormous help are the co – matriarchs of our family. Barbara & Bab, the widows of my father’s brothers, were a part of the stories and told me many things I never knew before. They added life to the book. I cannot thank them enough!


Fellow researchers, keep in mind this lesson that I have learned. It is not the oldest branches of the family that are the hardest to write about. 

It is the most recent who are the most elusive.

Thanks to my family!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Forget Me Not: George Washington Mark

According to genealogist, Larry Knox, George was a farmer who owned an orchard.  He lived south of Overton, OH. He married Elizabeth Shifferly on 20 November 1901 at Cedar Valley in Wayne Co., Ohio. In 1910 George rented a farm in Chester Township.  In 1920 George and Lizzie were still in Chester in Wayne County. He was a 42 year old farmer and Elizabeth was 39. George registered for the World War One Draft on 12 September 1918. He was described as having medium build and medium height with blue eyes and light brown hair. George and Elizabeth had no children.   



George Washington Mark

1 Apr 1878 OH - 16 Oct 1938 OH

Son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter

Husband of Elizabeth Shifferly


My 2x Great Uncle

Two Obituaries for George W. Mark


Set Mark Services. Wooster, Oct. 18. – George Mark, 60, died Sunday at his home in Chester township, from a heart attack. Survivors are his widow, five brothers and four sisters. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p. m. from the Bevington & McCullough funeral home, conducted by Rev. F. H. Zaugg. Burial will be in Wooster cemetery. 


Source: Set Mark Services. (Akron, OH: The Akron Beacon Journal, 18 Oct 1938) 6; digital image, accessed August 2022. 

George Mark, aged 60 years, died Sunday evening at 6 o'clock at his home in Chester Township.  Mr. Mark, who had suffered from a weak heart, was doing his chores when he was stricken, dying very suddenly.  Survivors are his wife and the following followers and sisters:  Thomas, Medina; Amos, Chester; Charles, Chester; Mrs. Mary Shaw, Medina; Mrs. Maggie Kauffman, Canton; Emma, Wooster; Mrs. Elva Boreman, Chester; and one half brother, Melvin, Wooster.  Funeral Services will be held Wednesday at 2 p. m. from the Bevington & McCullough Funeral Home, conducted by Rev. F. H. Zaugg.  Burial will be made in Wooster cemetery.  Friends may call at the Funeral Home Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Source: "George Mark Dies Sunday." Daily Record 17 October 1938: page 5. Copy from Wayne County Public Library, Wooster, Ohio.

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Military Service: Major Max F. Brumfield, WWII Marine

Major Max Freeman Brumfield

1 February 1921 MS – 5 June 2004 CA

Son of Charles Edgar Brumfield & Katie Leona Freeman



World War II & Korean Conflict, US Navy 

Max was a college student when World War II broke out. He served in the Marines throughout the war and stayed in through the Korean Conflict. He was a major when he retired in 1964. 

Image from Fold3

Service details from his obituary:

Mr. Brumfield attended Southern Louisiana University until his education was interrupted by World War II. He was a proud member of the U. S. Marine Corps, graduating first in his class of 400 at Parris Island boot camp. He served as a communications officer in Honolulu in the 1940s, during the Korean conflict in the ‘50s and aboard the Navy’s USS Eldorado during the ‘60s. As officer – in – charge of recruiting in New Orleans, his station led the nation from 1955 – 58. Other assignments included teaching at the Army Artillery School at Ft. Sill, Okla., and performing defense and prosecutorial legal work for the judge advocate general at Camp Pendleton. He retired as a major in 1964.

Source: Max Freeman Brumfield. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 13 Jun 2004) 3; digital image, accessed May 2022.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022



Thanksgiving is spatulas & spices & the family china;

Tables pushed together, folding chairs & mismatched glassware.
Thanksgiving is answering the ringing doorbell; 
Children chasing and hiding;
Hugs & surprises; Jokes & smiles.

Thanksgiving is aprons & appetizers & the family recipes;
Multicolored paper turkeys, crayoned pilgrims & pinecone centerpieces.
Thanksgiving is squeezing around the table;
Passing the mashed potatoes;
Candles & napkins; Gravy & cranberries.

Thanksgiving is cameras & cousins & the family traditions;
Posing in front of the fireplace, smiling on cue & laughter all around.
Thanksgiving is playing favorite board games;
Telling tall tales of holidays past;
Uncles & babies; Memories & plans.

Thanksgiving is Family.

Colleen G. (Brown) Pasquale

Friday, November 18, 2022

Timeline: The Ott Family

Timeline of the Ott Family 

1699                Birth of Melchoir Ott, Switzerland

1725                Birth of Jacob Ott I, son of Melchoir

1742                Swiss astronomer, Anders Celsius, invented the centigrade thermometer

1755                14 Aug. Birth of Jacob Ott II, son of Jacob I, Orangeburg, SC

1755                23 Oct. Death of Melchoir Ott, age 56, Orangeburg, SC

1776 - 1783     Revolutionary War; Jacob Ott II served under Col. Francis Marion 

1774                Birth of Jacob Ott III, son of Jacob II, Orangeburg, SC

1800                24 Apr. President John Adams approved $5,000 for books for the use of Congress and the Library of Congress was begun

1811                Robert Livingston & Robert Fulton had exclusive charter to navigate MS River with steam powered vessels

1813                5 Sep. Birth of Charlotte Temple (Ott) Brumfield, daughter of Jacob III, LA

1812 – 1814    War of 1812. Jacob Ott III & his son, Joel, served in LA Militia

1815                Jan. Battle of New Orleans was fought; after Peace Treaty had been signed

1820                12 Sep. Death of Jacob Ott III, age 65, in Mt. Hermon, Washington, LA

1822                24 Dec. The Night Before Christmas written by Clement Moore

1835                Marriage of Charlotte Temple (Ott) Brumfield & Nathaniel Brumfield, LA

1838                27 Sep. Birth of Jessie Alexander Brumfield, son of Nathaniel & Charlotte

1850                Population of Louisiana: 517,762

1852                8 Feb. Death of Nathaniel Brumfield, age 39, in LA

1853                Yellow Fever Epidemic killed 11,000 in New Orleans

c 1854             Marriage of Charlotte Temple (Ott) Brumfield & Elijah Brumfield, brother of Nathaniel

1855                Leaves of Grass written by Walt Whitman

1861 - 1865     Civil War; Samuel Edward Ott served

1868                Louisiana readmitted to the Union

1874                April. Severe floods hit LA

1880                1 Jan. Construction of the Panama Canal began

1883                18 Nov. Five standard time zones established by the US & Canada

1895                Death of Charlotte Temple (Ott) Brumfield, age 81, LA

1900                Summer Olympics held in Paris, France; women took part for the 1st time

1903                The Ford Model A automobile was produced & sold for $750

1914                27 May. Death of Jessie Alexander Brumfield, age 75, in MS

This Chart shows the link between the Ott family & my paternal grandfather. 

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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Military Service: Captain Nelson Ott, USAF WWII


Captain Nelson Tate Ott

10 March 1917 LA – 25 June 1996 LA

Son of Charles Jacob Ott & Lillie Nelson Tate


World War II US Air Force Pilot & Instructor


Nelson Tate Ott Sr., 79, of Osyka, died June 25, 1996, at Baton Rouge, La., General Health Center.


Visitation is 6 – 9 tonight at Hartman Funeral Home of McComb. T Services will be at 11 a. m. Friday at Osyka Baptist Church, with the Rev. Joe Trull officiating. Burial will be in Osyka Cemetery.


Mr. Ott was born March 10, 1917, in Hackley, La. He was the son of Charles Jacob and Lillie Tate Ott. He was reared in Osyka.


He was a graduate of McComb High School, where he excelled in football. He graduated from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) where he lettered four years in football.


He was a captain in the U. S. Air Force. He was a pilot and instructor at Foster Field, Texas. He flew a P – 47 in combat in the European Theater, where he received numerous citations.


After World War II, he returned to Osyka with his wife, June, who was a 1st Lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force. There he taught school and coached for 35 years in the surrounding areas of Mississippi and Louisiana. He retired as principal of Osyka Elementary School.


He served as alderman for the Town of Osyka. He was a member of Osyka Baptist Church.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Rebecca Ott Best, Gena Ott Trask and Zelma Ott; and his brother, Charles Jacob Ott Jr.


Survivors include his wife of 52 years, June Balogh Ott of Osyka; four daughters, Doris Ott Harris of Houston, Texas, Sara Ott Wall of Denham Springs, La., Becky Ott Applewhite of Summit and Donna  Ott of Osyka Ott Speed of Chatawa; one son, Nelson Tate Ott Jr. of Osyka; one son – in – law, Jack Speed of Chatawa; one daughter – in – law, Ruthie Ott of Osyka; seven grandchildren, Mandy Wall, Leigh and Lesley Harris, Courtney and Allison Applewhite, and June and Dan Speed; and a host of nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends. 


Source: Nelson Tate Ott Sr. (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 27 June 1996) 8; digital image, accessed May 2022. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Forget Me Not: Kenneth Ott, 1971 LA

This obituary gives us a list of survivors which is always useful with genealogy research. However, I wish it told more about Kenneth's life. I'd like to know more about the man. Of course, I always wish for more information in obituaries! ha! 



Kenneth Ott

28 August 1900 MS – 9 December 1971 LA

Son of Samuel Adolphus Ott & Georgia Ritchie


My 2nd Cousin 3x Removed


Funeral services for Kenneth Ott, 71, were held at 3 p. m., Saturday in the Osyka Baptist Church. 


Mr. Ott died at 10 p. m. Thursday in Osyka following a short illness.


Born Aug. 28, 1900, he was a native and lifelong resident of Osyka.


Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Kenneth Ott; two stepsons, June Austin Spears, New York, James Monroe Spears, Osyka; two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Blackwell, Baton Rouge, La., Mrs. Ruth Varando, New York; one brother, Richie Ott, Osyka; three sisters, Mrs. Margaret McNees, Osyka, Mrs. Ruby Dean Williams, Osyka, Mrs. Harriet Carruth, Dixie Springs; 19 grandchildren and one great – grandchild.


Rev. Richard Gordon officiated. Burial was in the Osyka Cemetery with Hartman Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.


Source: Kenneth Ott Rites are Held (McComb, MS: Enterprise – Journal, 13 Dec 1971) 3; digital image, accessed March 2022.





Sunday, November 6, 2022

Military Service: Spurlock Brothers, Mexican – American War

Private Allen Spurlock, Jr.

c 1809 – c 1849 MS


Private James M. Spurlock

c 1820 – 25 February 1848 Mexico


Sons of Allen Spurlock & Frances Traylor

My 4x Great Uncles

The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the Intervención estadounidense en México (U.S. intervention in Mexico), was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848.



These brothers were mustered into service in October 1848 in Liberty, Mississippi when Allen was 38 and James was 27. They served under Captain Crowson in Anderson’s Rifles, Mississippi Battalion. James Spurlock was killed on 25 February 1848 in Mexico. His brother continued to serve for four more months. Allen Spurlock was mustered out 28 June 1848. 

Source: Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Mexican War from the State of Mississippi, NARA; digital image, Fold3 ( accessed May 2022).

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