Saturday, December 10, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Genea-Santa, Take Me to 1903

September 1, 1903
This month, Elizabeth O'Neal's Genealogy Blog Party is hosting letters to Genea-Santa. Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings is also asking us to make our Genea-Santa lists.

I made a list, checked it twice, and decided to ask for a field trip.

Dear Genea-Santa,

Please hitch up your sleigh and whisk me through time and space to Elkhart, Indiana, in 1903.

Where else but a family reunion could I ever hope to untangle the cousin connections in my husband's sprawling Larimer/Short/Work families?

For several years around the turn of the 20th century, these intertwined families held summer reunions in Elkhart. Dozens of people attended, and local newspapers in Goshen, Elkhart, even Millersburg covered the event.

My main target for this field trip is Brice Larimer (1819-1906), my husband's great-great-granddaddy. He was "the oldest member of the three families present" at age 84 in 1903, as shown here.

Brice could tell me stories about Bartlett Larimer (1833-1892), a pioneering doctor who inspired his nephews in the Short family to become doctors and dentists. He probably knew the original Larimer shipwreck story by heart, hearing it from his parents who heard it from the journey-taker, Robert Larimer (or Robert's wife Mary O'Gallagher). And I think Brice could tell me about where in Scotland and Ireland all these ancestors were from (another field trip for a future wish list). But as long as I'm at the reunion, I'll chat with every guest and, of course, snap photos.

Genea-Santa, I promise to be nice and share everything I learn with my family and with the wider world via my blog. If I learn anything naughty, I'll share that too! 'Tis the season to be genea-jolly.

14 comments:

Anna Matthews said...

I would be hard pressed to choose a time and place to travel to if I were granted such a wish, but your visit to a family reunion sounds very productive and fun. Thinking of photos I scanned recently of a family reunion in the 1980s, so many memories were in attendance then that are now gone.

Marian B. Wood said...

If any photos of the 1903 reunion exist, I haven't yet found them. But at least the newspaper covered the events, letting me know that the families were interested enough to attend and swap stories, keep up the connection, etc. You are so lucky to have photos from a 1980s reunion!

La Nightingail said...

A rather serious family reunion - what with choosing a president and all. My family reunions are held every year at Lake Tahoe in the summer - same two weeks. Anyone who can make it, comes - whether from California, Arizona, Nevada, or South Carolina. The meetings are very informal. We swim and cavort upon the beach by day, and enjoy potlucks and singing round campfires at night. But however they're done, family reunions can be wonderful reminders of who we all are!

Mary Rohrer Dexter said...

My Rohrer Family had reunions in Elkhart IN in the early 1900s also. And I think a time machine is a great idea as a genealogy tool!

Marian B. Wood said...

Folks, I really appreciate your taking the time to read and comment! Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Devon Noel Lee said...

Marian, this is so cute! I love the whimsy in your writing and to ask for essentially a time machine from Genealogy Santa. I wish I would have thought about that.

Tattered and Lost said...

I'm trying to imagine a family reunion. Some I'm sure had to travel a great distance. And think of all the food that had to be prepared and stored. Boggles my mind.

Linda Stufflebean said...

My family never held any family reunions - I wish they had. My husband's family - both sides - had lots of family get togethers. I have tiny (like 2 inch by 3 inch) photos that look like they were taken about 1930 and I believe they are of his mom's family. However, 50 people in a picture that size makes it difficult to see most of the faces clearly and there is no one left who could identify them anyway. I'd love to time travel back to that one!

Double Karma said...

Hello, Marian

Great post, had forgotten this weeks Genea-Musings 'SNGF' was Genea-Santa letters, so thanks to the reminder.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Sounds like those family reunions were fun!

Marian B. Wood said...

I do think these family reunions were fun, because apparently relatives came from hundreds of miles away to join the party. If only Genea-Santa could grant my wish and allow me to be a guest in 1903. I just have to empty my pockets of all 21st-century stuff so what happened to Christopher Reeve in "Somewhere in Time" doesn't happen to me at some inopportune moment!

Teresa Eckford said...

I too would LOVE to time travel - I'd go back and visit my great-grandmother, Katarzyna. She was an interesting woman - according to a family source I reconnected with earlier this year, she was a maid in the household of my great-grandfather before they married. After he died, she remarried and sent my grandmother to live with her father's relatives. I've no idea why. From such a distance, I don't want to judge, hence my desire to visit her and find out why she did something that, on the surface, appears callous and very unmaternal.

Marian B. Wood said...

Teresa, I sure do hope you find a way to ask Katarzyna this question one day. Wishing you happy holidays and a stocking filled with genealogy gifts!

Andrea Kelleher said...

Oh to time travel. I definitely would be visiting with a few ancestors if I could get the chance. That Brice Larimer would be amazing to talk to. Happy holidays to you and your family!