Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Photos of the 1913 Dedication of the Greeley School in Winnetka

I have written about my second great grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, several times. (See The Great Chicago Fire and excerpts from obituaries at Samuel Sewall Greeley 1916.)

Recently a first cousin of my mother died. (See the wonderful obituary for Sally Whitcomb Keen at

Her daughter is going through her mother's family materials and scanning and sending me great things, including information about our common second great grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley.

There is a school named in his honor in Winnetka, Illinois, where my husband and I visited last September.

My second cousin sent me scans of photographs from the 1913 school dedication. She also sent a scan of a document about the 1938 presentation of a portrait of Samuel Sewall Greeley to the school and includes details of the 1913 dedication. Greeley had encouraged the community of Winnetka to build a school and the community recognized its prominent citizen by naming the school in his honor.

It is the oldest operating public school in Winnetka today. A brief history of the school can be found at the school's website and it implies that the design and configuration of the school was innovative for its day.

On October 24, 1913, Greeley was brought from his home to the school's entrance in a carriage decorated with flowers and flags and drawn and guarded by Boy Scouts. Here is a photo of that procession:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Dad's Pet Goat

I love this photo of my dad as a young boy in his wagon with his pet goat pulling the wagon.

This one is even better; it's always great to see such a happy smile!

And here is his mother, Libby, in a photograph dated 1929. My dad turned five years old that June.


My dad did not have the happiest of early childhoods. His parents were not very happy together and divorced in 1933 when Dad was nine years old. When I asked him about any memories of his early childhood, the only one he shared was that he had a pet goat that he adored.

When he was six years old, the family's barn was hit by lightning in a storm which caused a fire and the pet goat died in the fire. Dad was devastated.

Recently, I thought I would see if I could find any newspaper confirmation of this story. Thanks to, I found it!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Photo Collage for Facebook

Several months ago, I updated the cover photo on my Facebook page.

There have been a couple of questions about who are in the photos, so here are the answers. If I have blogged about the photo previously, I include a link to that post.

These photographs come from all branches of my ancestry and from the 1850s to 1928.

Top row left is Hunter Sisters 1911. My maternal grandmother is the youngest one standing on something in the back.

Top row middle is second great grand uncle James M. Lysle, a soldier who died in the Civil War.

At right is my father in a wagon with his pet goat. I'm guessing about 1928.

Bottom row left is an ambrotype of my third great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Gorin.

Next is my second great grandmother, Susan Arville (Chapin) Adsit.

Next is a third great aunt Caroline (Carrie) Lysle (1841-1914).

Next is my great-grandmother, Marguerite Lysle (1876-1967).

Second from right is my great grandmother, Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit (1863-1956).

Bottom row right is a portrait of my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit with my dad on her lap.

By the way, I used BeFunky's Collage Maker to create this. If you search for "Facebook cover photo collage" or something equivalent, you will find all sorts of websites that will help you create a collage for your Facebook cover. (The white space at the bottom left is where my profile photo covers this collage.)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More on Roosevelt and Rust - Harvard Class of 1904

Almost two years ago, I shared the 1934 invitation to the White House that my step-grandfather, Edgar C. Rust, and grandmother received, as well as a newspaper clipping that was in my grandmother's collection. (Saturday is the 119th anniversary of my grandmother's birth: Elizabeth Adsit was born on June 18, 1897.)

Classmates Meet Again, Unknown newspaper.

In trying to find the original of this newspaper clipping (not yet successful), I also found the following newspaper articles about this college reunion at GenealogyBank which does indicate that family members were in attendance.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Aunt's Closest DNA Matches on a Chromosome Browser

My aunt A recently took a DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA. On average, she should share about 25% of DNA with me, her niece or my brothers, her nephews. (I am using initials to try to protect the privacy of my family members. Hopefully you can still follow along.)

Autosomal DNA is inherited equally from both parents. The amount of autosomal DNA inherited from more distant ancestors is randomly shuffled up in a process called recombination and the percentage of autosomal DNA coming from each ancestor is diluted with each new generation. [Source: ISOGG Wiki for Autosomal DNA]

The following screenshot from FamilyTreeDNA shows how much DNA that A shares with her top matches.

A's matches are sorted by relationship. Her closest relationship is to her sister, M.

Her next closest DNA matches are:
to my brother, S, sharing 1970.09 cM, with the longest shared block being 163.73 cM.
to me, Elizabeth, sharing 1837.98 cM, with the longest shared block being 101.44 cM.
to my brother, R, sharing 1805.56 cM, with the longest shared block being 108.96 cM.

The Shared cM Project, conducted by The Genetic Genealogist, Blaine Bettinger, shows the range of shared cM (centimorgans, a measurement implying genetic distance) that can be found between people of a known genealogical relationship. Hundreds of genealogists responded to his request for information and Blaine has generated some interesting charts to display the information.

In the case of aunt/uncle - niece/nephew relationship, the average amount of DNA reported to be shared is 1703.45 cM, with the greatest amount of DNA shared at 2226.60 cM and least amount of DNA shared at 121.34 cM. So it appears that my brothers and I share more than the average amount of DNA expected between an aunt and a niece or nephew.

The next step is to compare us in FamilyTreeDNA's chromosome browser.