Friday, July 27, 2012

In Memory of Edward Heitke 1934- 2012

Recently we lost a cousin who died after a short bout with cancer. We will miss him dearly. His name was Edward Heitke and he married our cousin Louise Smith. Louise is the first born daughter of James Fredrick and Hazel Smith. I thought I would share with you a few pictures of Ed and other family members from photos which my father took through the years. These events were family gathering. Ed was a quiet spiritual man who was very intelligent. We (my family) were quite a loud bunch so Ed and Louise and the quietness which they displayed was very obvious to me as a child.

When I heard about his death, this photo came to mind. SO I went looking for it. It was taken at my parents home in Imlay City in 1974. It was probably taken around Grandma Lillian's February Birthday or maybe around Easter.

Back row: James Fredrick Smith, Keith Heitke, Ed Heitke
Middle row: Kevin Heitke, Mark Smith
Front row: Harold Smith, Everett Smith, Dick Buike

I wonder where Matt was? It is pretty unusual for him to be missing from this photo. Isn't that interesting!

This is an earlier photo of the Heitke family from 1973.  I felt certain that we had other photos from time spent with the Heitke family at their home in Flint but I did not find them.  What I have scanned in are slides which Dad took and I thought that I had them all scanned. 

This photo was taken  of the Fred Smith Family on Fred and Hazel's 50th Wedding Anniversary.  I can't for the life of me figure out why Dad did not have Ed and Bruce get in this Photo.  He was usually pretty good about taking Family Photos which included the son-in-laws.

Left to right: Bruce and Helen Jane Wilson, Hazel and Fred Smith, Louise and Ed Heitke - 1977.


Ed and Louise came to visit Mom and Dad in Harbor Beach.  I am not certain when this was.  Sharon and I visited Ed and Louise in Scottsdale, Arizona in the mid 1980's I will have to see if I can find that photo and at it to the post.  I believe it may have been that trip which helped them to decide to move to Arizona permanently. 

So I wanted to make sure that I remember Ed fondly because he was a he was a wonderful addition to our Smith family who is sorely missed.

Love,   Jan

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ancestry Tree

This week some fairly colorful characters have emerged from I decided it was time to load my tree for the world to see.... or at least for those who I invite to see it. Having decided that, I had no idea how much work it would be to connect all the source information for 4500 people who are in my tree...and most people have several different sources which can be associated with them...What was I thinking all these years by not doing it sooner? And as soon as you load it, the hints begin to arrive about people in your tree. Who knows how many I have to connect, safe to say tens of thousands...oh my!

I made the decision to load it because I made contact with a couple of people who are closely connected with our Smiths thru a DNA match. The funny thing is they are a Stephenson and a Stevenson family lines. I sent an email to the one person and before I knew it both had responded. They offered to try to help me sort out where our family connects. I am not sure what I expected when I did the DNA tests but I guess I thought that it would clear things up more...not muddy the water. It is so strange that our closest matches in the DNA database are to two Musgrave families and two Stephenson/Stevenson. Oh and a Shepard...who isn't a Shepard at all... This person was adopted and they have no idea what their original surname was. Father and Mother are unknown! We match all the same markers with each of these families with only two markers that are different.

So appears for all practical purposes that Smith, though it is our name today...may not have been a name 10 generations ago...Interesting! It could be that for some reason we had a name change, an illegitimate birth, an adoption, both parents died so they were orphaned or they had a good or bad reason to disappear...It is at this point, anyone's guess what happened...the facts remain that within 10 generations our families connect with the Musgrave and the Stephenson/ Stevenson family...The genes do not lie...

I figured out how to invite the Stephenson/ Stevenson researchers to view my tree and we will see what we find. I also contacted the Shepard family and offered to give them access too. I will contact the Musgrave again at some point.

SO adding my tree to added a host of other issues which I had not planned I said...I am now connecting the hints from public documents which are readily available through my subscription. I have also found that there are Smith's from our trees who think that James's father was Jonathan P Smith born in Pennsylvania in 1783 and lived in Ohio in the 1850 census. I have contacted them in hope that they can tell me how they determined this.

In the coming weeks, we'll write about some other colorful character as I attach source information to members of our tree and find out more about who we are and where we came from.