Sunday, July 13, 2014

Problems posting a comment? This should help!

I've had several people tell me they can’t post comments. I have attached the following screen shots for anyone who is having problems.  I really enjoy all the comments and want anyone to be able to post a comment that wants to.

 I hope this helps!

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Francis Horace Saunders and his time in the US Army

On this 4th of July weekend I'm thinking of my Dad, Francis Horace Saunders and the time he spent in the US Army.

Whether someone has enlisted voluntarily or was told to show up the time they spend in the service  has to assist in molding who they become once they leave. It's in this thought that I'm thinking of my dad.

He was in the Army for 2 years (1952-1954). Two years is not a huge part of ones life. When I look back on the few things he shared with me, I can't help but think of how this time helped to shape who he became once he left.

Here are a few things he shared with me:

He understood he belonged to the army for the time he was enlisted and they basically owned him.  He would do what ever was asked without complaint while he was there. 
I took this as positive thing, as he never spoke negatively of his time in the service. It was his way accepting his responsibility.

At one point he was a surgical technician and I'm not sure if anything unpleasant happened or not but it left him with huge fear of going under anesthesia. This went to the point of him going all the way to Canada for a  hernia operation. At the time Canada would perform this type of surgery without going under a general anesthesia.

Another time he was stationed at the Frankfurt Army Center as an instructor. He was teaching servicemen on general education skills. He shared how many students didn't have a strong educations from school, but were very intelligent in there own way. An example being what is learned being raised on a farm. He shared  how he appreciated there were different kinds of educations. 

His Father was a Veterinarian and it was expected that his son would follow in his footsteps. My dad went to Veterinary school as was expected, and in the end it never came to be. My dad shared with me what he really wanted to do was become a college teacher. He really enjoyed teaching during his time in the service.  I asked him once if he had told his dad he wanted to be a teacher, would his dad been supportive of him. He said yes, his dad would of supported anything he had wanted to do. As usually happens this realization didn't occur to him until later in life.

As a side note:
the thought of my dad around a ton of college girls makes me laugh and wince a little.
It might not of ended well as he was quite the ladies man and might of ran into trouble with all the EEO rules. :-)

A special shout out to all the serviceman/women and who they will become because of their service to this wonderful country.

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Betty Lucille Saunders = Mom + so much more

I tend to think of my Mom as just that "MOM".  In reflecting over this Mothers Day here is a glimpse of who else Betty Lucille Saunders was in addition to being the worlds best MOM!  .

Tom Boy


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Who is this adorable girl named Cuba?

It's funny how we are drawn to certain people. I have many pictures of people I don't know anything about and yet Cuba has called out to me. I'm sure her name has a lot to do with my curiosity as I think its sounds exotic and it isn't a common name.

I have a few pictures of Cuba. On the front of the photo above in my dads handwriting is: Friend of Dads  Cuba.

I also have this picture of Cuba and my grandfather (Francis Harold Saunders). On the back of the photo is written: Cuba & Doc. This was also written in my dads handwriting.

My thinking went something like this. This is a friend of my grandfathers and they know each other well enough for a picture to be taken of them then they were small. My grandfather was born on Roberts Island so she must be from this area. I hunted around the census records checking out neighbors in the area with no results.

So move forward in time and I'm looking up relatives in Vallecito and what do I find but the following.
1910 Census: Cuba M Saunders
1900 Census: Mildred C Saunders
Cuba was my Grandfathers 1st Cousin. They shared the same Grandfather Moses Saunders.  She was born and raised in Vallecito. I did a little more digging and was able to connect with Cuba's grandsons wife. She confirmed Cuba and Mildred are one and the same. Cuba is a nickname. She will always be Cuba to me!  
There are several pictures of Cuba/Mildred in the book Vallecito History mentioned a few posts back.

No better lesson learned then by first hand experience. Never assume anything when doing research. Always rely on a consensus of information to lead you in the right direction. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Trying to get organized and the treasure I found along the way

I’ve been on vacation for the last week and was determined to spend time organizing some of last of my family stuff. So here it is Sunday and I am trying to cross this off my to do list!   I’ve had these items semi-sorted by person in Christmas bags for the last few months. These bags have been sitting on a table in my office so I would be motivated to keep going, but instead they just sat there made me feel guilty and who wants that!

Now I  only have 2 bags left (granted they are the two with the most stuff in them, but hey whatever works J.

four bags done

only 2 bags left!


I know you’re not really interested in how I basically moved my piles around into smaller more (hopefully) organized piles.  But at the end of the day that’s basically what I did.  But I must say I feel better and this stuff can now quietly wait for me in a dresser drawer I cleared out just for this purpose.   

my new drawer :-)

I ran across a lot great stuff today but here is what I wanted to share with you today. Two confederate bills! They were/are still folded into small squares inside an envelope.  They are not in great shape, but still pretty neat. I will need to get the protective plastic sheets they make for this type of money and I'll need someone to confirm they are the real deal.
I don’t know who they belonged to other then they were saved by my Great Aunt Addie Muri.
Click here to check a website called the: The Rebel States Currency. Its has good information and pictures of  Confederate Currency.

Thanks for sharing your time with me!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cousins: so close and yet so far apart ~but not for long

I have connected with yet another cousin I didn't know about!. His name is Paul Schuler.  As it turns out Paul is into Genealogy too. Actually much more dedicated then I am.  He is a huge contributor to the website named Find a Grave. For those of you not familiar with Find a Grave it's a wonderful (free) site for locating you guessed it: graves and other forms of final resting places! It's staffed by volunteers and Paul has contributed to over 9300 memorials.

Paul and I are 3rd cousins as we share the same great great grandparents: Moses and Eliza Saunders.
Now get this. We both were raised in Stockton Ca, only 10 years apart in age, and we didn't know we existed.   Go figure!

I have 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins and I refer to them all as 'cousins'.  I plan on continuing with this but took this as a opportunity to brush up on the correct definitions.  When I went and researched (you know: Googled) I found lots of complicated descriptions and diagrams. The following explanation  seems pretty easy to follow:
    • First cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you.
    • Second cousins have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
    • Third cousins have in common two great-great-grandparents and their ancestors.
When cousins descend from common ancestors by a different number of generations they are called “removed.”     
    • Once removed means there is a difference of one generation. Your mother's first cousin would be your first cousin, once removed. She is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents.
    • Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. Your grandmother's first cousin would be your first cousin, twice removed because you are separated by two generations.
I found the above information at Genealogy

So where did Paul and I meet today? The San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery of course! He was there adding more memorials to Find a Grave.  While we were there he showed me a family plot I wasn't aware of. It belongs to Laura (Saunders) and Andrew Blossom. I would not of known this by looking at the headstone as their names are NOT on the marker. Please please don't do this!  Names are very helpful.  Luckily the marker had the birth & death years, plus most of their children are in the same plot so Paul figured it out.
I'm oh so happy for more family/genealogy connections!

 Thanks for sharing your time with me!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vallecito History A History of Vallecito, California since 1848

 Thanks to Harvey Williams I have in my temporary possession a book Titled: Vallecito History A History of Vallecito, California since 1848.  The book is about 100 pages and has quite a few pages with pictures and references to the Saunders family.  Unfortunately no pictures of Moses Saunders (my 2nd Great Grandfather) yet. As I am learning it's all about the hunt!

This excerpt is from page 1  
 This one paragraph has already left me with questions which I'll share in my next post.

This book was created by the Fourth Grade Class 1973-74 of Vallecito School as a school project.
Thank You Vallecito Class of 1973-74

Thanks for sharing your time with me!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why I'm so glad I joined the San Joaquin County Genealogical Society.

After a couple of years of doing genealogy research and organization my stuff I found I was missing having someone to share my progress/excitement with.  So enters the San Joaquin County Genealogical Society (sometimes shortened to SJGS). I joined and it was just the fix I needed.  I have met wonderful friends who have encouraged me and shared in my excitement over land deeds and death certs, etc.
SJGS is in its second year of offering free workshops for beginning genealogy.  At our last workshop a couple weeks ago I met an existing SJGS member Harvey. So as Harvey and I are visiting we discover that we both have relatives from the town of Vallecito which is in Calaveras County. Vallecito is historically known as one of California's important early-day mining towns as gold was discovered there in 1849. 

After a very nice visit and discussing a potential day trip in the spring to do some genealogy research we each went on our way. Here's where it gets it really really good!  The next day I receive an email from Harvey stating the following: I am happy to report that I have found evidence (text and pictures) of many of your relatives in the book Vallecito History. You can just imagine how exciting this is for me!  This email came during a very hectic two weeks so I wasn't able to connect up with him, but I will see him this Saturday at a FREE genealogy seminar SJGS is hosting at University of Pacific.  Harvey has 2 copies of the books and is going to lend me one so I can pilferage what I can from it.  WHOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!

The oldest relative I'm aware of from Vallecito is Moses Saunders.  He came to California in 1850 from Rhode Island. I'm not sure of when he first arrived in Vallecito but I do have a original land deed from 1865 where Moses has purchased 160 Acres. I don't believe I have any pictures of Mose yet, but that may soon change.  :-)  

Summary of the deed below is: Otis Hodgkins of the city and county of  San Francisco CA is the first party and Moses Saunders of the 9th Township, Calaveras County the 2nd party. Moses is paying the sum of $300.00 for a parcel of land (160 acres) known as the Hodgkins Ranch.  It's is located on the on  '?' Flat about one and half mile southeast of the village of Vallecito. 


I'm looking forward to sharing what I learn from the Vallecito book.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1920's Oh the changing times.

I just want to give a big Thank You for the emails and blog comments I received after my first post! The responses I received are more then I expected and so positive my heart has truly been touched.

So on to my next post:

Dr. Francis Harold Saunders (DVM) is my grandfather. He started his veterinary practice in Stockton CA in the early 1920's that continued well pass his death into the 1980's. If you or your family happened to live in the Stockton area during this time there was a good chance Doc Saunders treated your animals.

This is college picture of Doc Saunders. What a handsome fellow he was~

I have lots of stuff to share on him, but today I want to share something I learned about a veterinary college he attended.

In the San Joaquin County Biographies there is biography on Francis Harold Saunders (DVM).To view the bio click here.  In the bio it mentions that he entered the San Francisco Veterinary College where he remained for one year, then entered the Washington State College, from which he was graduated in 1921.

I was curious why he would leave San Francisco Veterinary College after one year to move to a school further away. If your traveling from Stockton (Roberts Island), Washington was quite a bit further to travel.

As I started researching (aka googling) I found that San Francisco Veterinary College closed in 1918. I found a article (click here to view) that mentions that as the horse was replaced by the automobile and other internal combustion conveyances, many city-based veterinary colleges including San Francisco closed.

This makes since to me, so mystery solved! I just find how interesting it is that time and time again as a society advances with inventions and such there are almost always unintended consequences.

As a side note as I was looking into this I read that San Francisco Veterinary College was started by a man by the name of Dr. E.J. Creely. I thought this name sounded familiar and sure enough what do I find in on of my binders on my grandfather but a picture of a Dr Creely (turns out the son of Dr. E.J. Creely).  Not sure why stumbling on this tickled me so but it made my day!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sonora CA - part 1

While I was on my December vacation my friend Sheri Fenely and I took a day trip to Sonora to see what we could find on my 2nd great grandfather David Watson and his family.  I knew the Watson family had spent some time in the mining town of Chinese Camp and I was on the hunt for anything I could find in this area. Here is my relationship to David Watson:
 Prior to going to Sonora I had contacted Charlie Dyer at the Carlo M. DeFerrari Archive and Record Center and he emailed me a index list of what was available for David Watson. I was totally surprised he had this inital information at his fingertips. Here's an excerpt of what he provided me.  You can imagine how excited I was for our Sonora visit. 
When we arrived Charlie had the documents already on a table for us. That’s what I call customer service. I’ve prepared myself that this may not be how all my ventures go, but what a nice start.
So today I’m  going to share a couple of the items I received on our visit.

Estray Affidavits-
I was a little unclear what this meant so I looked it up.
         Estray: in law, is any domestic animal found wandering at large or lost, particularly if the owner is unknown.
        Affidavit: a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in  court.

So back in the day if someone found a stray animal it was important to report that you had found the animal as you didn’t want to be accused to stealing it. It turns out that David Watson was the person who assisted with the appraisal of animals.  The transcription below was done already by someone at the Archives.  
You'll notice I'm practicing noting my sources :-)

Legal Record
Certificate of Appraiser/Estray Affidavits
Arch 1764/Record 0038
Obtained by Susan Saunders-King on Dec 12, 2013
Wanted Posters-
I was thinking these would be big posters like the one in the movies, but they are about the size of a post card.  In these cases not looking for people but missing animals. These two cards were in a book with a ton of other wanted posters.    
Wanted Posters 1903
Arch 4619/Record 0112  & 0129
Obtained by Susan Saunders-King on Dec 12, 2013

I also received some other documents but I need to do some more research before I share. These are documents involving a suite over money loaned to be paid back from money made from a mining claim.

So more to come~

Let me introduce myself- Hi, I'm Susan Saunders-king

As this is my first post and I wasn't sure how to start I did what some of you might have done and googled "how to start your first blog".  The reoccurring theme was: start off by telling about yourself.  So here it goes.

I'm married and have two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. I'm getting near 50 and for some reason I'm looking forward to this mile stone. I was born, raised and will most likely finish my time here on earth in Stockton CA.  I'm still working full time and looking forward to retirement so I can devote more time to this genealogy bug that I have.

I've always had an interest in my family history and as often happens I became the keeper of all the family stuff on my fathers side. When I was in my early 20s my dad passed to me most of the family’s pictures and albums.  This came to me in Bekins moving box, a large ones -like 4x3 or something.  Now I can tell you that box sat around for years in several garages (don't cringe) before I started going through it. Only as I got older did I appreciate how lucky I was that nothing happened to the boxes contents.

I also received a lot of information from my Uncle Howard (great uncle), He was the family historian. When I was a teenager and showed an interest he copied a ton of stuff for me. I have to confess I still haven't gone through all of it.

My goal for this blog is to share my family history. I have strong California roots and much of what I'm sharing will be from Central California. Along the way I'd also like to share some local history and include some of my adventures as I do further digging into my past.

I'm hopeful this blog reaches some distant family or others who may find an interest in what I have to share. I'm also very excited to learn from you, my new blogging community.