Class Picture


Annabelle Evans Grade school picture probably taken in Burbank California around 1920.



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J. R. Findsen

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Wanda Welke


Wanda Welke

Wanda Welke was the daughter of Karl Welke and Euphrosine Gurke. At the age of twelve, orphaned, she immigrated from the war-torn boarder lands of Poland and Russia to the United States in 1920 along with her siblings. The surviving Welke family made their home in Portland Oregon. Their story is one of sorrow, devastation, and hope.


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J. R. Findsen

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Londonderry Pinkertons



The following is an excerpt from:

The History of Londonderry, Comprising the Towns of Derry and Londonderry, N. H.

by Edward Lutwyche Parker

Available on Google Books


The ancestor of this family, John Pinkerton, came from the county of Antrim, in the north of Ireland, to this town, in 1724. He settled upon a farm in the West Parish of Londonderry, and died in 1780, at the age of eighty. He left five sons; David and John, who were born in Ireland, Matthew, Samuel, and James; and four daughters; Mary, Elizabeth, who married Deacon James Aiken, Rachel, and Jane, who married Deacon David Brewster.

Of David and Samuel we have no particular information.

Matthew lived and died in Londonderry. He had three sons; the late Lieutenant John Pinkerton, who held for some years offices of trust in the town, and was the father of George W. Pinkerton, Esq., of Manchester, N.H., James, Who resides in Derry, and David, who settled in Boscawen.

A brief sketch of John, the second son, and of James, the youngest, has been already given. They were benefactors to the town, and deserve to be had in remembrance. The following is a brief genealogical statement of their families:

Major John Pinkerton married, for his first wife, Rachel Duncan, by whom he had five children; namely, Polly, Naomi, Betsey, John and Esther. Polly married Alexander MacGregor, and had one child, John P., who was adopted by Major Pinkerton.

For his second wife, he married Polly Tufts, but has no children by her.

Deacon James Pinkerton married, for his first wife Elizabeth Nesmith, daughter of John Nesmith, by whom he had six children, as follows: Isabella and James, both of whom died in infancy; Betsey, who married John Aiken, son of Deacon Nathaniel Aiken, and died in 1837; Jane who married Joshua Aiken, brother of John Aiken; Mary B., who married Captain William Choate, and Clarissa, who married Robert E. Little.

Deacon Pinkerton married, for his second wife, Sarah Wallace, daughter of Samuel Wallace, and by her had four children, as follows: Rebecca W., who married Perkins A. Hodge; Francis C., who married Hon. Luther V. Bell; David H., who married Elizabeth Aiken, and John M., who is a counsellor at law, and resides in Boston, Mass.


To view the entire book click here.


Thank you for reading.

J. R. Findsen

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A Sad Sight



One of the many things I do as a genealogist is volunteer for Findagrave. A useful aspect of the virtual cemetery website is the ability to request photos of headstones. There are hundreds of camera-toting volunteers across the United States ready to fulfill picture requests for those who cannot trek across country on a genealogy journey.

It is a treat to bring genealogy alive for others even in a small way.

However, one of the saddest sights to see in the genealogy world is a small poorly cared for grave site.


Recently, I took my son, who loves the headstone hunt, to full fill a picture request.

I am an advocate for getting children involved with family history. The benefits are countless. It provides a sense of belonging that is invaluable, and it keeps the memory of those who have passed alive.

Back to the cemetery.

What struck me so profoundly at this particular cemetery was the number of grave markers about the size of a brick with just a name. Many names were worn to little better than nothing.





Grave after grave was over-shadowed by massive monuments. The pictures speak for themselves.

Many of the brick-sized grave markers were broken or faded beyond reading. It would take a trip to the cemetery office to learn information on who is interred in those spaces.

The saddest grave gets to spend eternity shoulder to shoulder with the trash.



If you would like to get more involved in the genealogy community, consider volunteering for Findagrave. It is easy to do and costs nothing other than a little bit of gas and time.


Thank you for reading.

J. R. Findsen

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Deadly Tuberculosis


Image Source:

Genealogists and family historians no only need to know how to find and preserve records, expand family trees, and write histories; they need to have a solid sense of history.

What was going on in the world and locally during the life of your ancestors?

Tuberculosis is a disease that has touched many lives throughout history. It is a disease that, today, does not get as much attention as cancer, influenza or casualties of war. Nonetheless, TB was an avid killer up until relatively recently.

In medical arenas, Tuberculosis is called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. However throughout history, consumption, phthisis, and the white plague.

What is TB? According to the CDC:
The bacteria usually attack the lungs. But TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. TB disease was once the leading cause of death in the United States.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. People who are infected, but not ill, have what is called latent TB infection. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. But some people with latent TB infection go on to get TB disease.

It appears that Tuberculosis may have emerged 9,000 years ago in Africa. Trade routes, animals such as goats and cows, seals and sea lions all aided in the spread of the disease.

There are written records all around the ancient world from India, China, and Greece. Even in pre-Columbia America have records of TB written in the DNA of skeletal remains thousands of years old.

Fast forward to 1830. In New York City (population 202,589) alone 16,400 people died in that year alone. 8.1% of New York’s population perished from Tuberculosis.

In 1882 Robert Koch asserted that Tuberculosis is an infection disease meaning that it is transmitted from person to person. Armed with this information sanitariums popped up isolating the infected. Still, they did not have an effective way to combat the disease. One out of seven who contracted TB died.


Image Source: Blue Ridge Sanatorium

By 1900 Tuberculosis was at a crisis level in Great Britain. So much so that in 1901 a royal commission was formed to study TB transmission between humans and animals.

A hundred years ago Tuberculosis was considered the biggest killer in America. It is estimated that in the United States alone at least 450 people died of Tuberculosis every day. To put that into perspective, that means 164,250 lost their lives every year.

It was only in the 1940s that scientists discovered the first medicines to treat TB. We still use the same medication today. However, since 2000, there is a rise in tuberculosis cases with the disease becoming more resistant to the medicines available.

Unless new treatments are discovered, we could face similar devastating effects of TB as did our grandparents and great-grandparents.


To Learn More:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Research History

Harvard University Library





Thank you for reading.

J. R. Findsen


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