Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Where Were Your Ancestors 80 Years Ago?

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:

It's Saturday Night again -

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!


Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has our assignment today:
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 April 1940 - 80 years ago when the U.S. census was taken.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3) Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post.

Here's mine:

1.   My father, William J. Hork, was living with his mother, Anne Hork, and three older sisters, Lorene, Virginia, and June, in San Bernardino County, California. She was renting, paying $20 per month.[1] His father, William C. Hork, lived in the next town away.[2]

2.   My mother, Lela Nell Johnston, was living with her parents, Tom J. & Pansy (Lancaster) Johnston, and her grandparents, Warren G. & Lela Ann (Loveless) Lancaster, in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas.[3]

3.   Tom Johnston’s father, Thomas Newton Johnston and wife, Zilpha, were living at 188 N. McCart in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas. His youngest son, Halwyn, who was 24, lived with him.[4]

4.   Pansy’s grandparents, William Carl and Martha Jane “Doll” (Coor) Lancaster, were living on W. Frey in Stephenville, Texas. They paid $12 in rent.[5]

I had 10 direct ancestors alive in 1940: parents, grandparents, 1 great-grandparents, and 1 set of g-g-grandparents.

My husband’s family:

1.   His father, George J. Gorrell, was living with his parents, Joseph Norman and Matilda Pearl (Davey) Gorrell and his three sisters, Bertha, Ada, and Claire in Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri.[6]

2.   His mother, Thelma Marie Nilsen, was living with her father, Arthur Nilsen, and siblings, Arnold, Raymond, Edna, and Bernice, in Modesto, Stanislaus County, California. They lived at 335 Leon St and paid $30 in rent.[7]

3.   Thelma’s maternal grandmother, Mathilda Lovisa (Ericksson-Holm) Lundquist lived in Hilmar, Merced County, California. She and her son, David, were missed in the census.

My husband had 6 ancestors alive in 1940: parents, 3 grandparents, and 1 great-grandparent.

[1] 1940 U.S. census, San Bernardino Co, California, Cucamonga, ED 36-36, sheet sht 65a, p. 472, household 150, Anna M Hork, digital images, (

[2] 1940 U.S. census, San Bernardino Co, California, Ontario, ED 36-63, sht 64A, p 903, William C. Hork, digital images, (

[3] 1940 U.S. census, Erath Co, Texas, pop sched., Stephenville, ward 2, enumeration district (ED) 72-7, 4A, household 75, Warren Lancaster; digital images, (

[4] 1940 U.S. census, Erath Co, Texas, pop sched., Stephenville, ED 72-34, 8a, p. 32 (stamped), household 188, Tom N Johnston; digital images, (

[5] 1940 U.S. census, Erath Co, Texas, pop sched., Stephenville, ED 72-3a, sht 9b, household 228, William C Lancaster; digital images, (

[6] 1940 U.S. census, Jasper Co, Missouri, Webb City, ED 49-33, sht 11a, p 802, line 12, George J Gorrell, digital images, (

[7] 1940 U.S. census, Stanislaus Co, California, Modesto, ED 50-24, sht 3a, p. 376, family 52, Arthur Nilsen, digital images, (

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 23, 2020

52 Ancestors-Week 43: Quite the Character – My Aunt Beryl

This is my third year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

My mother’s paternal aunt, Beryl Mavella Johnston, was quite the character. I have previously written about her as part of a Blogging from A to Z Challenge in 2016, as well as about her work for the federal government:

She was my grandfather, Tom J. Johnston’s older sister, and she was always a part of our holiday celebrations. She usually brought dessert to the meals, mainly pumpkin or pecan pie.

She was loud and always spoke her opinion. She was always well-dressed, even if it consisted only of white, black, or silver-colored clothing. As a child, I didn’t understand why she didn’t like wearing colorful clothing like my grandmother. Now I know these colors make you look slimmer and that had been her goal.

She was married twice and had no children. She also had a long-time relationship with another man between the two marriages. After her death, my grandmother received her photo collection and now I have them. We discovered slides of Beryl posing in different outfits. Her clothing choices when younger were much more colorful!

These numerous slides were obviously taken by someone who loved viewing her in her various outfits. I think she must have had a lot of clothes! 

Wasn’t she such a character to pose like a model?

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of Oct 12–18, 2020

Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week. This idea came from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing, who started this meme.

I have completed thirty-one (31) weeks of semi- “lock down” due to Covid-19. I worked a couple hours at the History Center. I did phenology at the meadow as usual. The biggest trip was Friday to the bank to deposit a check, to the library to return and pick up a book, to the recorder’s office to turn in my ballot, and to Kaiser to get the last shingles shot and the pneumonia shot. On Monday, I went to the bird store to pick up bird seed I had ordered.


Blog Writing:
Blogs posted this past week:

Online Study Groups Attended:   

  • Three of the Amigos met.
  • Jacqueline & I met twice this week, discussing institutes, citations, etc.
  • Four of us met in the Thursday Cert Discussion session.
  • Four of us met in the Friday Certification Peer group and we discussed the research report.
  • I joined the discussion group on the book The Color of Law where we started on the first three chapters.
  • I started attending another new discussion group Education Peer Group and we’ll be meeting once a month.

Webinars Attended:

  • “Exploring Military Records, Part III” with Susan Johnston
  • "Grandpa Was a Tail-gun Runner: Researching Army Air Corps" 

Client Work/Presentations:
No class at the adult school this past week due to the Columbus Day holiday, but I got the next two lessons finished and published in the Canvas website.

Volunteer Work:
I visited the History Center on Tuesday and took care of two queries. I also attended both the Sacramento German Genealogy Society and the Contra Costa County Historical Society board meetings where I took minutes.

Own Work:
I have not done any of my own work this week. 

I attended only two of my own Adult School classes: intermediate German conversation and advanced German conversation and missed photography because of the SGGS board meeting.    

I’m re-reading the first three chapters of The Color of Law for the discussion group.

Books to finish:

  • White Heat: The New Warfare, 1914-1918
  • Send Us a Lady Physician: Women Doctors in America 1835-1920
  • Twilight Whispers

This week I watched one VHS movie from my shelf this week:

  • A Little Romance

Photos of the week, flowers from my yard--the last of the blooming flowers: 

Copyright © 2020 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.