So, yesterday I attempted to track down Auntie Norm's phone number but came across some kind of hostile virus. Now my computer won't even come on. Luckily Mark reminded me that we have an extra computer tower from his old office. And Luckily I have most of my old files on email. And luckily I had printed off my behomoth Barton file not too long ago. But it still has all my lovely bookmarks. And our photos, and my docs. So I want it fixed.
But today, I did find Auntie Norm's phone number.
Also wanted to add on to my question list.
1. What kind of economic status did Herman and Sarah have? They did have a daughter and son who furthered education. Middle class? Did Harry remember hard times, moneywise, growing up?
I guess that's pretty much it.
So, Uncle Doug answered, figured out who I was, and before handing off the phone to Auntie Norm, warned me that she had been having some memory problems and whatnot. "Oh, okay. Well, we'll just visit."
Luckily, she did know who I was, but she had a bad cold (not ideal for extended phone conversations.) I asked her the most fun question, about where Grandma might have gotten her individuality--as in, don't refer to me as "my wife", call me "my wife, LaVonne". At least she laughed and said she didn't know where that came from, but as a big sister, she was certainly in charge. She cut me off pretty quickly saying that she wasn't really interested in history and referred me to Aunt Bonnie. I assured her that I would also talk to Bonnie. I tried one more time, asking if her Dad talked much about the war, or being a soldier. She said no, but that didn't mean that he didn't have experiences. I agreed. I was happy to hear that she now has 4 great grandchildren and sent my best wishes. Then Boston came in crying, so I made my excuses.
I guess I need to talk to Aunt Bonnie again, but I hope she doesn't think I'm a big pest. I talked to her not too long ago. (I hope I don't ask the same questions and make her mad at me.)
No answer there. Maybe I need to focus on Sarah, Hiram, and then one of his parents so as not to involve too much recent history and living people details. I could still squeeze in the WW1 records for Harry because they pertain to her life as a mother...
This may also help Bonnie feel like she is not so much under the gun, because it will be more speculative, like, I know your Dad was very politically inclined. Where do you think he got that?
Doing some browsing through familysearch's collections, since it will search the whole state (I think???) for marriage records by county--Kansas County Marriages, 1840-1935. NO Van De Riets, some Sarah Hales but not the right one. No Van De Riets on the Kansas Deaths and Burials 1885-1930 collection. None either on the Kansas Births and Christenings 1818-1936. In other words, I think these collections are obviously not complete.
I tried the Montana County marriages. Also not complete since they leave out Harry and Bess, but I did find some of Harry's siblings. Here is Garret J's marriage license and certificate. Here is Aunt Marie's. Just from looking at these, I notice that Sarah is referred to by her own children as both Sarah and Elmyra. Both of these weddings were by a Methodist minister (Methodist Episcopalian), and that S. E. Vande Riet was a witness for Marie's. Herman would have been just dead by 1921. Garret J's residence is Clear Lake, MT, although the wedding is in Fort Benton. Where is Clear Lake, MT? Never heard of it.
Aha, I went through a few more records and found Harry incorrectly indexed as "van dr riet". Here is his lovely certificate --I even recognized his signature. His Dad is the witness here, as is Lovina, since Warren was dead by now. Once again they are married by a Methodist Episcopalian.
What turns up for Herman Van de Riet in the Entire collection? Lucky me, it's not a common name. Here is a 1910 Census, not the real image. They are living in Teton County. Harry is 15. Sarah has her father's birthplace as Illinois (what?) and her mother's Ohio. Did she flip them somehow? Wha?? Maybe they didn't talk about that much? Maybe Herman was answering the questions? Or maybe it is mistranscribed. I need to see the orig. anyway.
I've never found a marriage record for Sarah and Herman. Did his immigration have anything to do with it? (I'm thinking of that movie Sweetland.) Find out more about immigration/naturalization and affecting marriages. This will also add scope to my project.
Fun trivia to throw in, along with possibly useful data. I searched for Smith County histories on Googlebooks and the two obvious ones were unavailable to read. But in some more general Kansas books, I found Home on the Range was written in Smith County Kansas. From a footnote in Ian Frazier's novel?nonfiction? Great Plains. Might be good to read--a good gift for dad? Anyway, it was printed in a Smith County newspaper--Smith County Pioneer, 1873. Here is the page, I hope.
Also interesting and may cause problems. There is another Herman Van de Riet in Downs, Osborne?, Kansas in 1922, buying a pheasant or something from the Agricultural Bureaucrats. See from Google Books here.
The joke is on me. I see on my map that Downs IS actually in Osborne county, directly south of Smith County. Did the county line change? Or did I just have it wrong? If it changed, what year? Was there ANOTHER Downs? Find an older map, perhaps? wiki-familysearch says both counties were organized from unorganized territory. I looked at an 1887 map of Smith County and found nothing about Downs, so we must have just had it wrong. (It was probably me in my teenage zeal who added counties to everything.)
Kansas did a state census in 1885 and 1895. It's on Ancestry.com.
Checking out some Kansas links on linkpendium, I saw one for land patents and found John Van de Riet getting land in Smith County in 1872 in Concordia. It said something about in favor of the state of Georgia. Huh? They were definitely talking about Kansas. Pretty sure this has to do with the homestead act.
To do next? Find a research guide for Kansas. That might give me some ideas about naturalization, etc.