Genealogy and Blueberries

No art accomplished this week. It was all about genealogy. Our local Willard Library hosted Heritage Days Festival this week with five days of sessions on everything from the best websites and apps for local history, to Google Earth Pro and organizing your stuff. I learned so much that I feel like my head might explode!

As I said, I really learned a lot and didn’t even attend all of the sessions. Now to spend some time with all of the information and getting it all straight in my head.

In this post a few weeks ago I mentioned that my maternal grandfather ran away from home when he was 16, but no one in the family ever talked about who he lived with when he ran away to Evansville.  One of the things that they emphasized in the seminars is that most things make sense. If you have some of your ancestors standing in front of a house, more than likely it is their home, or a relatives home, or some significant place, not just a random house! Well, the same thing I can apply to my grandfather. I thought that he ran away to his widowed aunt, his deceased dad’s sister, but I couldn’t find any documentation about that. It just didn’t feel right, but I let it go for the time being and moved on.

Then just the other day I was going through boxes getting things ready for our church rummage sale, and I found some papers that were my grandfather’s. I decided to stop and just glance at a couple of them. I found this – a loan contract for a Philco radio in 1932.

It was an interesting surprise to have that piece of history. As I was checking it out I saw where grandpa had listed on the Nearest Relative line a Jacob Deyss. That surname was his mom’s name. I got excited and went into Ancestry to see what I had listed for her siblings and found none. I kept looking and finally found someone, John Gammon, who had Jacob in his tree, but no info on Jacob’s family. I emailed John, who said his family was connected to Jacob’s wife so he hadn’t really researched him, but would do a little digging for me. He emailed me later that Jacob had a brother and sister, but not my great grandmother.

I also found this receipt where grandpa had his red truck worked on at Deyss Motor Company, which I found out that Jacob owned.

John said that his grandfather Gammon lived next door to Jacob. I told him that my grandpa owned his own company, Schatz Transfer. The next day John emailed me this picture of a promotional item belonging to his grandfather.  I was so excited! As you can see, it was from my grandfather’s company. I had never seen a magnifying glass with the company name on it.

I have a notepad and some pens with his company name on them, but that item was a surprise.


So now I know that his grandfather Gammon knew my grandfather, and lived next to Jacob who might be a close relative. Then a couple evenings ago I found Louis Deyss, my great grandpa’s, will online. It listed all of his kids which included grandpa’s mom and Jacob. So Jacob was my grandfather’s uncle. I still have no proof that Bampie (what I called grandpa) lived with Jacob, but there is a good chance that is where he landed in 1910. He listed his nearest relative as Jacob. He could have listed any of his wife’s numerous relatives who lived near him, but he chose Jacob. And it makes sense that he would stay with a relative on his mom’s side, especially a man. Jacob and his wife Linnie didn’t have any children, so they’d have room for him. John also sent me this picture of Jacob and his wife. I am so thankful to him for answering my email, and helping me to shine some light on this mystery.


Jacob and Linnie Deyss 1946

So for the time being, I really believe that he ran to his uncle’s and lived with him until he was on his own. Jacob worked on cars and trucks which would have been a good skill to teach his young nephew. And the story continues!!

Meanwhile, the blueberries are ripening. It was a small harvest, just 9 oz, but a start.

Now if will quit raining I’ll go out and harvest some more. And I will have some new-to-me art to share next time. Have a great weekend.