Thursday, December 31, 2015


Robert S. Ross with David C. Ross, ca 1936
Another vintage photo from Granny Ross' photo album that is in the possession of my first cousin.(1) This picture is of Robert Stanley Ross holding David Charles Ross. They are my maternal grandfather and uncle.

I love this photo for so many reasons.  It shows me a hard working farmer, probably standing in front of a favorite shrub of his wife--Lennie Mae (Floyd) Ross--showing off their son. For our family to have a picture from 1936 documenting what will be my grandparent's last born child is pretty amazing.  There have been no other photos surfacing to date of their other children at this age.  The only thing that could be better for me than this picture is to have one that is of my mother Nettie Louise Ross, their first born!

My grandparents were pretty much subsistence farmers.  In the 1930 U.S. Census they lived with their blended family in a small community of South Fork Township in Clark County, Arkansas.  I've never had the impression there was much money. Discretionary funds didn't exist for dirt farmers in south Arkansas and the 1930 census proves that detail. Of the 259 documented families in this township only two households had a radio. (2)  And of course, Granddaddy Ross' household was not one of the two. So for them to have a camera by 1936 indicates there was a little extra money coming to them in the near future and they were willing to spend it on special occasions.


(1) Ross, Robert Stanley "Pete" and David C. Photograph. ca 1936. Digital image. Privately held by David C. Ross II, Henderson, Nevada.

(2) Arkansas. Clark County. 1930 U.S. census, population schedule. Digital images.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Thought to be a Ross Family
Several years ago my first cousin David Ross shared a digital copy of this photo from our grandmother's album that is in his possession. To our misfortune, there is no identifying information written on this vintage photo.

If anyone has any information about the group, please let me know via the comment section.

Some clues that may help to identify the family are:
  • Clothing appears to be ca 1900, particularly the dress the girl standing next to the seated woman.
  • It's a warm day since the smaller children aren't wearing shoes.
  • There could be two families units photographed.
  • If a Ross family, then the setting could be southern Arkansas or eastern Texas.
  • The older man could possible be Lucius Osborn Ross,  born 1845 in Clark County, Arkansas, died 1928 LaMesa, Texas.
Any information about this photo will be much appreciated.  Your help could break a brick wall for this line!

Monday, December 28, 2015


While looking for an old photo with a Christmas theme to post on Facebook, I ran across this one of me in Mrs Rudd's house in San Francisco. I'm about two and half years old and definitely have no recollection about this event, although it does appear I received a nice doll and bag as a gift, presumably from Mrs. Rudd.

This 1954 photo has always puzzled me.  Of course it never entered my mind to ask my Mother when she was still alive about who this Mrs Rudd was and our connection to her.   So before posting this pic on Facebook, I attempted to enlist the memories of  my oldest brother and my sister to assist me in understanding who this Mrs. Rudd was and why I'm in her living room.

Shirley couldn't remember but surmised that mother had many friends and this was probably one.  Larry on the other hand came up with the most clear and interesting recollection of who Mrs. Rudd really was.

At first he couldn't remember, so we talked about living in San Francisco.  A topic that he seldom shares. I did get several more tidbits about his perception of life in California some nearly 60 years ago that will help to define those years. However, the next morning I received a call from Larry letting me know that he had slept on it and thought he had remembered something.

As it turns out, Mrs. Rudd was a "church" friend of our mothers.  He recalled that she had pink lamps with Victorian scenes on them and cream colored shades. Wow, what an impressive, yet somewhat creepy memory for a boy of twelve!  Could the lamps behind me be the ones he's recalling?

Maybe, but back to researching the church and other San Francisco memories....

Welcome to Hunting Ancestors' Histories

Researching our family history began in the late 1970s like many Americans. After becoming interested in family history, it was apparent to me that I know very little, if not anything about my ancestors.  I only knew my family lines back to my maternal and paternal grandparents. It was amazing to me that not many of our family members shared stories about the people they knew best. Little was written down and shared from one generation to the next.  So after 35 years of researching a fair number of my lines and my husband's lines, I have decided to share the stories about their lives.  As the family's self-appointed historian, I enjoy placing each ancestor in their historical context and telling their story.  I hope you too will enjoy these stories as I dig through the mountains of information that I have compiled during my hunt for my ancestors' histories.