52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #8 – Heirloom


Cousin Mariah Bishop Hudson on the left behind me and Grand Aunt Helen Seger Baber on the right, visiting the farmhouse in Eastonville that Lloyd Baber, Helen’s husband and our grandfather Bernard Hancock, half brothers, lived with Lulu Brace Hancock Baber and John Thomas Baber.

The Old Oak Cupboard Story

Written by Helen Margaret Seger Baber, October 13, 2011

This old oak cupboard was originally owned by Lois Emerette Goodell Totten. She was born Jan 17, 1842, died February 12, 1924 at Kennewick, Washington. Lloyd (Baber) and I have been to her grave in Kennewick. The cupboard had been given to Mary Phoebe Totten Brace then to Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber. When Lloyd and I married in 1947 Lloyd’s mom, Lulu, gave it to us as a wedding present. We used it until January 1951. When we moved to 824 East Cucharras in Colorado Springs, we retired it to an old barn on the back of our lot.


It stayed there until 1958 when we moved to our new house then on Dudley in Colorado Springs. Lloyd put it in his garage and he was not very kind to it, he stored oil and his tools in it and a glass was broken out. I had always longed to have it refinished and I would have put it in my kitchen. Just never had the money to do it.

Well, when the lightning hit our weather vane and we had to have a new garage door opener and we had to sell our car because Lloyd could no longer drive, I asked my neighbor if he would like a job making our garage into a patio room. Also, would he like to re-do the oak cupboard. He finished the room but the cupboard took longer because it had eight coats of paint on it. They had even painted the hardware.

drawer detail

Drawer pull with carving.

I had him cut out the sides and put glass in so it would have more light and we also had him put glass shelves in instead of wood.

People used to walk or drive past our house and they would stop and try to get Lloyd to sell them that cupboard. Some offered a good amount of money. I’ve heard him tell them it belonged to his great grandmother and it needed to stay within our family.  Anyway when it was finished I had no place to put it, so we gave it to our daughter Judy Baber Clarke for her birthday July 19, 2010. It cost $1200 to have it finished.

Judy & grandsons 2040

Judy Baber Clarke with her two grandsons at the Peyton Cemetery.

This weeks ’52 Ancestors in 52 weeks’ subject is “Heirloom”, not only is this cabinet and the story by Helen Seger Baber a priceless heirloom, but Helen herself is a priceless heirloom. She loves sharing family history and writing stories.  Helen is proud to share  the history of the family. She has also had her history stories of Colorado Springs and the Eastonville/Elbert area published in the local newspaper. I have spent many wonderful hours with Helen, from sorting out papers and pictures in her storage unit in the back yard to putting together a jigsaw puzzle while listening to the radio and singing country songs. She has generously given me copies of pages from her photo albums and copies of documents and other items such as a bowl and platter belonging to Mary Phoebe (Birdie) Totten Brace. Great additions to my collection of ‘stuff’.


Next week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #9 – Where There’s A Will



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #7 – Valentine

How many times did you get an unsigned valentine in your valentine box at elementary school? Did that just drive you nuts?

valentine box


In the “stuff” I have collected, I suppose artifact would be the correct word, but stuff is how I think of it, I found a very small valentine in a very small envelope. The envelope measures about 3 1/2 ” by 2 1/2″. The actual valentine is about 2 1/2″ by 2″. The paper that makes the envelope has aged to a light yellow as has the card stock that makes the valentine. I have no experience at guessing the age of paper.

Valentine and envelope


The envelope is addressed to Baby Hancock, City. No postage is visible.

What Baby Hancock, what city? Where can you mail something without a postage stamp?

Maybe from mother Lulu Hancock to her first child? No, doesn’t seem likely, a mother sending her first child a valentine. Well, maybe.

Is it possible that “Birdie” Brace (Mary Phoebe Totten Brace) the grandmother could have sent it to her first grandchild?

Or, was it Lois Emerette Goodell Totten who sent it to her new great grandson? She lived in Washington County, Kansas just a few miles from Narka, Kansas. But why would she call him Baby Hancock instead of his name?

Or, was it Grandpa Hancock’s other grandmother Theresa Frary Hancock who lived on a farm just outside of Narka, Kansas. Because Lulu’s marriage to her son brought separation she never knew this grandson and perhaps didn’t know his name.


Fortunately, I asked the question about who was the sender before Grandma Hancock died and she said the valentine was from Grandpa’s great grandmother Lois Emerette Goodell Totten.

This valentine was tucked inside a photo album that had pictures Grandpa Hancock cut out of magazines and pasted on the pages of the album. Most of the pictures are of Coca Cola advertising. Like Santa Claus drinking a Coca Cola. There are also other greeting cards.

Lesson to learn – ask the questions before it is too late.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #8 Heirloom










52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #6 – Favorite Name

So many names to choose from! There are over 2000 names in my database for family history research which isn’t really very many, but I have kept the database to blood relations only, children, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. For the earlier ancestors I have not included brothers and sisters. Too much information!

My favorite name is really favorite names because I have selected a husband and wife.

Neazer and Thankful Scofield

Neazer (not Ebenezer) was born 22 May 1754 son of Samuel Scofield in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Thankful was born 1 March 1757 daughter of Sylvanus Scofield, in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Neazer and Thankful are my 5x great grandparents. Neazer’s father, Samuel Scofield and Thankful’s father Sylvanus Scofield were brothers. This relationship really screws up the family history program.

The immigrant ancestor for the Scofield’s was Daniel Scofield (my 9x great grandfather) who was born in England and came to America in 1641. He was a founding settler of Stamford, Connecticut. He paid 25 pounds sterling for his land. This Scofield line descends to Levi Scofield a Seventh Day Baptist minister in Janesville, Wisconsin whose daughter Sabrina married Levi Squires father to Edwin and Mary Squires, parents of Grace Irene Squires Foreman, mother of Grandma Hancock.

Thankful Scofield head stone

Neazer and Thankful had 13 children, most born in Stamford, Connecticut but several were born in Hadley, New York.  Thankful died 28 June 1836 at 79 years old in Hadley, Saratoga County, New York.

Neazer Scofield

Neazer died 26 September 1846 at 93 years old. He served as a private in the local militia prior to the Revolutionary War, as a volunteer for 115 days in 1775. He continued to serve in militias in 1776 and enlisted in 1777 and returned to his family 1n 1778.

Thankful Scofield, Gray's Cemetery

Neazer and Thankful are buried in the former Scofield Cemetery now named Gray’s Cemetery in Hadley, Saratoga, New York.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week #7 – Valentine


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #5 – In The Census

In 1998 when I first started searching for ancestors I would visit the library to select the microfilm rolls I needed, insert them in the machine and spend hours scrolling through names in the census records. If I was lucky there would be an index of names that would direct me to the exact roll I was looking for making the search much easier. These days with Ancestry and FamilySearch most of the census records are easy to search from home on the internet.

Some of my favorite discoveries from the census include:

  • Finding middle names. Grace Irene Squires (Foreman) sister was Mary I. Squires (the mother was listed as Mary S. Squires.)  The next census had a more diligent recorder and listed her whole name Mary Ivadine Squires. Grandma Hancock would talk about her aunt Ivy saying she was an old maid because she never married.

Mary Ivedine Squires

Mary Ivadine Squires 1866-1921

  • Finding surnames. I could not find my dad in the 1940 census which was made public in 2010. I kept searching and finally last year found him in Tacoma, Washington under the name Jerry Frahm. His mother Signe Anderson Stalter had remarried. The family had been enumerated with Clarence Frahm as head of household and my dad and his brother Victor were listed as Frahm instead of Stalter. I never knew he lived in Tacoma, Washington. Seven years it took me to find that!


Jerry, Clarence, Uncle Frank & Grandpa Anderson

Left to right – Jerry Stalter, Clarence Frahm, Uncle Frank Martin, seated in car is my great grandfather Hinberg Anderson who immigrated in 1892 from Norway. My best guess is this picture was taken about 1937.

  • Finding places. Looking for my grandfather Perry Stalter in 1940. He was divorced from Signe and was listed by himself in a place called Work Camp #3, Glendale, Minnesota. Minnesota does a midterm census so I found him in 1935 in a different work camp.  During the depression men who did not have jobs and no place to live were placed in work camps and trained for jobs or placed on work crews building “public works” projects from bridges to schools and the like. This included art projects and music projects.  Perry wrote lyrics for music, he also wrote poetry. In 1942 he entered Word War II. He also served in World War I. Sometimes gravestones provide a lot of information.

Ft. Snelling Natl Cemetery

  • Finding families. Most of our family lines moved as a group from one part of the country to another. By reading the entire page of the census and going back one page or forward a page you can usually find a brother or father or son with their family listed nearby. The Foreman’s in Illinois all lived within a ten mile radius of each other. Their farms were next to each other. Edwin Squires farm was next to his father, Levi Squires farm in Wisconsin. Daughters were a little harder to track because their names changed, but looking carefully, usually can be found within a short distance of her family.

Robert Allen Foreman Family to Oklahoma copy

This is the Robert Allen Foreman family. They left Time, Illinois and settled in Cherokee, Oklahoma about 1877. At the same time Jacob Foreman, older brother of Robert, left Time, Illinois and settled in Carroll County, Missouri about 250 miles from Time, Illinois. In 1887, Jacob and Sarah Foreman brought their family to Vernon, Colorado to homestead.

Finding a story within ten years. My husbands grandmother Beckie Singer was one of four children. In 1900 I found each of her siblings, a sister Fannie in St. Louis and two brothers, William and Harris living in Friar’s Point, Mississippi. Harris was married to Lizzie and the 1900 census shows they had four children. In the 1910 census there is no listing anywhere for Lizzie and Harris yet two of their children were living with William and his wife in Friar’s Point, Mississippi. With a lot of hard work I found that Harris and Lizzie had moved to San Antonio, Texas and Harris had died of tuberculosis in 1904 in San Antonio. Lizzie had died of tuberculosis in 1908 in San Antonio. In the 1910 census two of the their children are living with William back in Mississippi, one daughter is living with Lizzie’s brother’s family in Memphis Tennessee.  The fourth child, Sarah, shows up in the 1910 Colorado census. She is 18 years old. Sarah contracted tuberculosis in Memphis and moved to Colorado in 1909 for treatment at the JCRS hospital. Sarah died in 1917 in Colorado. JCRS, for many of us who remember, was the name of a shopping center on west Colfax in Lakewood. The entire property was owned by the Jewish Community Relief Society. The synagogue remains behind the shopping center. Both Denver and San Antonio were cities that people with tuberculosis sought treatment.

Several months ago I found Lizzie’s will in a digital collection from Mississippi. The will lists five children. With a lot more digging I found the fifth child, David, born in 1901 and 9 years old in 1910 census,  living in a Jewish orphan’s home in New Orleans. At age 18 he left the orphanage and went to live with his sister in Memphis. After communicating with a member of the board of directors for the history of this orphanage I learned many people in the early 1900’s were dying from tuberculosis and the B’nai B’rith Society placed the surviving children in orphanages to continue their education and religious studies. For me, it was heartbreaking to put this information together and find that an entire family was devastated by this horrible disease.

In 2020 the government will release the 1950 census and it will be fun to look for myself and many of you!

Next week #6 – Favorite Name.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #4 – Invite to Dinner

So many of our ancestor’s are worthy of note. Whether it is for their courage, fortitude or spirit, they have a story to tell. The best place to tell that story may be at the family dinner table. We grew up having dinner most every Sunday at my Grandparents home, Bernard and Francis Hancock. All the aunts and uncles and cousins would be there.  Everyone was welcome. You just needed to call Grandma before she went to the meat market on Tennyson, to let her know you would be there. “Dinner” was at 2:00 on Sunday. In the summer we would have picnic’s in the mountains and wade through the creeks and romp the forest trails. Maybe a little wiffle ball.


50th Wedding Anniversary Frances and Bernard Hancock

Left to right – Dorothy, Shirley, Pearl, Charlotte, Charlene and Robert. Seated – Bernard, Frances and Evelyn. Celebrating Bernard and Francis’ 50th Anniversary.


I can’t say that Grandma was a great cook, but she certainly defined the “feel good” meal. Best fried chicken, best pot roast, best chocolate cake, best lemon meringue pie and molasses cookies are some of the things I remember. Every now and then, in the summer, Grandpa would get out the old wooden churn to make ice cream and at the last minute throw in some fresh peaches.

Hancock Grandkids 1991

Hancock grandkids – Back row – left to right – Sharon, Kenneth, Gary, Bruce, Stephen, Scott and Kent. Kneeling – Karen, Linda, Margaret, Renna, Korbi, Robyn, Cathy Jo. Missing are Don and Carol, Trish, Lauri and Troy, Sandy and Roxanne.

Great Grand Children 1991 -62

Great, Grandkids – Back row standing –  Lindsey (Scott), Ginger (Sharon), Traci (Cathy Jo), Jeffrey and Jason (Bruce),  Danny (Karen), Valerie (Stephen), Amy (Renna), Michele (Robyn), Elizabeth (Renna), Brian (Robyn), Matt (Korbi)(on Brian’s shoulders) and Chad (Renna).  Bottom row – Katie and Chad (Kenneth) Stacey and Brian (Stephen),  Janelle and Nick (Gary).

Times were not always so easy. During World War II, some food wasn’t easy to come by. Not long ago I found a ration book with my mother’s name on it. With seven children to feed from 7 years old to my mother at 18, I’m sure Grandma needed that extra ration book to get the necessary food to keep this family of 9 from going hungry.  Every American was issued a series of ration books during the war. The ration books contained removable stamps good for certain rationed items, like sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. A person could not buy a rationed item without also giving the grocer the right ration stamp. The books were distributed by a local “board” operated by the Office of Price Administration. “Victory gardens” provided fresh fruit and vegetables. There was always a corner of the back  yard for a garden.

war ration book


I will always remember those Sunday afternoons we used to have when we were all together, sharing the best of our everyday lives.

Week #5 – In The Census





52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #3 Longevity

Many of our ancestors lived long lives. On my side of the family I’m not aware of anyone who lived to be 100, but many were well into their 90’s before they died. For this week’s blog on Longevity I wanted to highlight some things our ancestors built that have lasted a long time.

The first row of pictures, below, on the left, is David Foreman at his home about 1888 in Vernon, Colorado. Vernon is about 10 miles south of Wray, Colorado. He was a harness maker and he is sitting on a harness bench. In the background is the Christian church that he and his brother Jacob (my great, great grandfather ) built and were pastors.

On the right is that same church in a cornfield on the land John Foreman, Jacob’s son and Sid Foreman’s brother, owned. John Foreman hauled the church out to his farm in the early 1930’s, because a new and larger church was built in Vernon. When talking about old buildings and someone says “it’s still standing” you can see literally what they mean. The walls collapsed about 1970, but the remains are still on the property.  I took these pictures of John Foreman’s farm in 1998.

The second row of pictures are also from John Foreman’s farm three miles west of Vernon. The front part of the house was built of sod about 1885 and the addition, with dormers, is made of wood and was added when John Foreman purchased the property in the early 1920’s.

The picture on the right in the second row is an outhouse. John Foreman had quite a business going in Vernon making outhouses for the WPA. The Works Project Administration started in 1935 and provided jobs all across America. This outhouse is still standing and as well as it is built, I expect it will stand for another 100 years.

Next week #4 – Invite to Dinner.



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #2 – Favorite Photo


Of the hundreds of photographs I have for our ancestors, both living and dead, this photograph is my favorite. It shows three of the strongest women pioneers in our family. Although many of our ancestors fought and struggled with the daily chores of living and the tragedies associated with pioneering life I believe this photograph captures the strength of our family.

The child in this picture is my grandfather Bernard Floyd Hancock 1903-1980. Interesting tidbit about this image – little boys wore “dresses”  or “gowns” because at this early age they were unable to cope with the difficulty of toilet training. Remember, zippers had not yet been invented. “Breeching” was that time between about two years old to six years old when the right of passage to breeches or britches (pants) was attained.

Seated at the center of the photo is Lois Emerette Goodell 1842 – 1924. Lois married William Franklin Totten in 1861 in Lockport, Niagara County, New York. Lois was born in Ohio in 1842 but her mother Elmina Brigham Goodell died in 1843 so Lois was raised by Goodell family members in Lockport, New York. William and Lois or as I think of her Emerette, had 11 children, 8 survived to adulthood. Mary Phoebe “Birdie” 1863-1938; Milton Goodell 1865-1930; Elmina Rosalie “Minnie” 1867-1948; Hattie Elvira 1871-1953; Edith Estella 1873-1945; Everett 1875-1876; alice Winifred “Winnie” 1877-1968; Celia 1879-1879; Clarence William 1881-1948; Edna Luella 1882-1883; Carl Albert 1883-1948.

The first two children were born in Iowa, the other 9 children were born in Kansas. Just imagine the thought of moving from New York to Iowa at 19 years old, having two children with no family nearby and within 4 years packing up and moving from Iowa to Kansas and over the next 16 years adding 9 more children, with 3 dying, while establishing a farm to support and sustain the family. Interestingly, the census for 1880 shows one of the laborers on this farm was a young man named John Champion Brace.

Standing to the right in this photo is Mary Phoebe “Birdie” Totten 1863-1938. Birdie as she was called married John Champion Brace in 1883 in Haddam, Washington County, Kansas. They had 9 children, Lulu Pearl 1884-1950; William Earl 1887-1962; Bessie 1889-1897; John Kessler 1891-1897; Hazel 1893-1897; Elwin 1896-1962; Lois Beatrice 1899-1983; Baby Boy 1902-1902; Althea Lois 1905-1948.

In 1897 while John worked in a nearby town typhoid strikes this family and Birdie was left to endure alone the tragedy of the death of three of their children. The fourth child died in 1902 and I do not know the cause of his death. In 1904 the family left Kansas and moved to Elbert, Colorado. Another tragedy for this family was the 1948 murder of Althea Lois Brace in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Standing to the left in this photo is Lulu Pearl Brace 1884-1950. In 1902 while living in Narka, Kansas, 18 year old Lulu Pearl Brace married 27 year old Nathan Brink Hancock and in 1903 Bernard Floyd Hancock was born in Narka, Kansas. Apparently someone’s parents were not too happy about this and “Brink” as he was called moved to Fairbury, Nebraska. He was living in Lincoln, Nebraska, had remarried and had two sons when he died in 1947.

In 1904 the Brace family including Lulu Pearl Hancock and baby Bernard move to Elbert, Colorado. In 1909 Lulu filed for divorce and in 1910 she married John Thomas Baber and they lived in Eastonville, Colorado and later in Peyton, Colorado. John Baber and Lulu had 8 children, Henry Kessler; Frank Hazard; Elizabeth “Bessie” Pearl; Lois Beatrice; Floyd Leo; Leon Calvin; Zona Edith and Cedric Keith.

Although Bernard never new his father he did try to find him but to my knowledge was not successful.  According to a Hancock cousin I talked with, Brink Hancock also tried to find Lulu but was unsuccessful. In life, Bernard was always very close to John Baber.

Next time in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #3 Longevity