Category Archives: Personal Family History/Research

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – The Garner Family, 1929

I recently made this scrapbook page of my grandmother and three of her older children – Larry, Jeanne and Kenneth. It was taken the in the late fall or early winter of 1929 since my Grandmother is quite obviously pregnant with her next child who was born in January of 1930. The photo was taken in the backyard of my grandparents home on Queen Street in Pottstown, PA.

Garner Family, Pottstown, PA 1929

Credits: family photograph; Scrap kit is Just for Fun (one of my own)

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Cape May, NJ Vacation

Once again it’s been a while, but jumping in today with another (Almost) Wordless Wednesday post. These are more unlabeled, undated photos in the collection given to me by my Mom. In the background of one (cropped out of the layout) there is a sign on the building that says Cape May Yacht Club. I believe the darker haired woman is my great Aunt Elizabeth Garner Freed, but I am not completely certain about that.

Vintage Cape May, NJ

Credits: scrapkit is one of my own

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Charles M. James

So, I haven’t posted for a few weeks. What can I say — it’s summer and I’ve been taking a little break from the blog. I decided to try to start easing back in with a Wordless Wednesday post. I always enjoy doing these because I get to make a 4×6 scrapbook page and go through my ancestor/vintage photos! This week’s post features one of my great-great grandfathers – Charles Morgan James. I think this photo may date from the 1870s, but I’m not certain about that.

Charles M. James, Chester Co., Pennsylvania

Credits: family photo that I have inherited; scrap kit is one of my own.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Who Are We?

Here’s another (almost) Wordless Wednesday scrapbook layout. As the name suggests, I have no idea who is pictured in the photograph. I have compared each face to photos of known family members – but no luck. Maybe it’s a club, a church youth group or a school class. It’s most likely taken in southeastern PA (Chester, Berks or Montgomery County). It looks like there’s some snow by their feet, so the time of year could be late fall or early spring. Anyone look familiar to you??

unknown group

Credits: photo is from my collection of inherited family photographs, scrap kit is my own along with elements from Gunhild Storeide

Thriller Thursday – Poor Little Thomas Bechtel

Are you up to date with all your vaccinations and immunizations? Are your children? Today’s Thriller Thursday posting is a reminder that life in the 19th century was fraught with hidden dangers. It was a time when even a minor scratch or cut could cause horrible suffering and even death…

It was late August of 1876 and eleven year old Thomas Bechtel, son of Thomas Sr. and Annie,  was enjoying the dog-days of summer. He and his younger brother were outside playing in their yard in East Coventry Township, Chester County, PA. The younger boy was holding a stick and chasing his big brother. Thomas stopped short and his younger brother accidentally poked him just above the ankle with his stick. It was a minor cut and neither the brothers nor their parents gave it much thought until a couple of days later. At that point Thomas’ leg began to swell and become inflamed. Thomas suffered terrible pain for the next few days, finally dying of lockjaw (now known as tetanus) on August 31, 1876.  His obituary was published in the Montgomery Ledger (a Pottstown newspaper) on September 5th. He was just shy of his twelfth birthday.

Thomas was my 3rd cousin, 3 x’s removed. His parents were Thomas and Annie (nee unknown) Bechtel and his paternal grandparents were Charles Bechtel and Isabella Jack. If you also have connections to this family, feel free to contact me.