52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #21 – Military

In Honor of those who serve – Memorial Day, May 28, 2018.

Friday, May 11, 2018, we attended a memorial service for my brother Don Stalter at Ft. Logan National Cemetery. In addition to the Navy, members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Denver Chapter 1071 attended and served as an Honor Guard. These gentlemen were so kind and helpful and very generous and giving of their time for a wounded veteran they didn’t even know.

Don’s medals

Don's medals

Mr. Marty Chavez took over 80 photographs and the President of Chapter 1071, Mr. Stan Paprocki presented the commemorative coin for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War to Don’s children Jeff and Jaime as well as dog tags with Don’s name.


This organization makes a tremendous impact on communities all across America. I feel proud to have met the members of the Denver chapter and so thankful for their grace and kindness. I encourage everyone to support this organization.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #20 Another Language

Cantons of Switzerlad

French or German or maybe Swiss-German and Norwegian

Stalter is an alteration of Stalder, a name frequent in Switzerland. “Stalder” is an Alemannic word meaning “slope”. No wonder that in a mountainous country like Switzerland many people live on sloping soil and received their names from their dwelling places. The early Stalders were merchants traveling the mining operations in the Alps.

Stalders are mainly concentrated in the Bernese Oberland and in the Canton of Lucerne. The former belong to the Reformed Church, the latter are Roman Catholic. Migration from the Swiss Alps also brought Mennonite Stalders to the Palatinate. Several of these Stalter families still live on farms around Zweibrucken.

The Catholic Stalters, who now live mainly at St. Ingbert, Saarland, go back to Casper Stalter who, being a Catholic, most likely pertains to the Stalders living in the Entlebuch Valley, Canton of Lucerne. His wife, Anna Margaretha, however was Reformed. On their way north, the couple made a halt somewhere in Alsace, where a son Johann Heinrich Ludwig Stalter,  was born about 1702. Casper Stalter made his home in Neunkirchen, Saarland, and was employed at that town’s important iron plant. His wife, Anna Margaretha, died there November 26, 1740 aged 77. Casper survived her by a few years.

Johann Heinrich Ludwig Stalter married about 1725 Maria Magdalena Camus (Camy), daughter of Phillip Camus, an ironmolder. From 1741 to 1759, he was a hammersmith at Muenchweiler, later he moved to Rentrisch, near St. Ingbert, where he died May 4, 1772. He is the ancestor of today’s St. Ingbert Stalters.

Johann Heinrich Ludwig Stalter and Mary Magdalena Camus had at least ten children, among whom was Nicolaus Stalter born at Neunkirchen July 17, 1729. At Muchweiler he met Elizabeth Morlo and was married to her at the nearby Catholic Church of Losheim on November 24, 1755. In 1764 the couple was at Dillingen forge and there responded to Baron Hasenelever’s invitation to come to work in New Jersey.

Longpond mine

Baron Hasenelever’s task was to provide ironworkers, miners and others in these trades to immigrate to America following the War for Independence. Nicolaus Stalter appears in the early census records in Charlottenberg, Bergen County, New Jersey noted for its early mining history.

The above information is a brief story of the Stalter/Stalder/Staldter families of Switzerland. Like many European countries the borders of Switzerland changed depending on who was at war. Sometimes you lived in France and sometimes you lived in Germany and if you wanted to remain Swiss you would have to move. Several tales of the Stalters reveal that the young man was German speaking Swiss and his love was French Catholic.  Obviously the French and the Germans didn’t get along so you had to pick what you wanted to be – French or German. If you were in the German territory and you wanted to be French, then you had to move and vice versa. Some Stalters lived in Alsace-Lorrain.

Joseph the son of Nicolaus had son John P. Stalter whose son John J. Stalter married Emeline Conklin of Monroe, Orange County, New York. Their son was Jacob Stalter who settled in the Hudson River Valley at Stony Point in Rockland County New York. Jacob Stalter and his family including son Perry Stalter appear in the 1910 census in Oklahoma. By 1920 Perry shows up in St. Paul, Minnesota in the Army and served in World War I. Perry married Signe Helmena Anderson whose parents immigrated from Norway in 1892 and their son was Jerry, my father. Another language to add to this ancestral line.

More on the Stalter’s New York history from the book “Doodletown” by Elizabeth Perk Stalter in the coming months.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week# 19 Mother’s Day

This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day. I have personally enjoyed 47 Mother’s Days.  I decided I would rather share the pictures I have of some of the mothers I know and wish I could have known.

Top row left to right – Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber, Lois Emerette Goodell Totten, Mary Phoebe (Birdie)  Totten Brace; Signe Helmena Anderson Stalter Frahm; The Hancock girls Charlotte, Charlene, Pearl, Evelyn, Dorothy, Shirley. Bottom row – Grace Evelyn Hancock Stalter Mann, Mary Saline Kenyon Squires, Simonette Signe Christofferson Anderson, Sarah Elizabeth Watt Foreman.

Top row left to right – Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber, Margaret Coe Frimpter, Mary Frances Foreman Hancock, Lois Emerette Goodell Totten, Grace Irene Squires Foreman.

Mary Salina Kenyon Squires. Frances Theresa Godfrey McMahon, Sarah Elizabeth Watt Foreman, Rosemary McMahon Singer.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week #18 – Close Up

Jacob Foreman – Close Up



This is Jacob Foreman, my great, great grandfather. He was born in Buford, Highland County, Ohio,  December 7, 1840 to parents Jacob Foreman and Margaret Briggs Foreman. He was the sixth of ten children.

About 1855 the family moved from Ohio to Time, Pike County, Illinois. On November 1 of 1861 Jacob was 21 years old and enlisted with Company E of the 28th Illinois Regiment to serve in the Civil War. The 28th Illinois Regiment was moved down the Mississippi on a steamship to St. Louis and then marched with Ulysses S. Grant to Paducah, Kentucky. Their main duty was to disrupt the supply lines to the Confederates.

Jacob Foreman ca. 1863 Civil War Uniform

Jacob Foreman ca. 1863 Civil War Uniform

Jacob fought in the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing better known as Shiloh and the Battle for Corinth, Mississippi and Vicksberg. He was injured, returned home to recover and then joined Company E of the 28th Regiment in New Orleans to guard a British frigate that had been captured in the Gulf of Mexico. Jacob mustered out of the army in Brownsville, Mississippi in 1865 and returned home.

In March of 1867 Jacob married Sarah Elizabeth Watt. They had 5 children. In 1877 they headed west to Kansas but unable to find a new home they returned to Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri near where several of Sarah’s brothers lived. After 10 years of growing cotton and 3 sons being born and the death of one daughter they set out by wagon for Colorado.

Entire Foreman Family

Jacob and Sarah homesteaded 160 acres under the Homestead Act and 160 acres under the Timber Culture Act in what was Arapaho county, now Yuma county three miles west of Vernon just south of Wray.

In 1897 Jacob became ill and was hospitalized in Denver in what became Denver General Hospital. He was treated for three weeks and then returned home. In 1906 Jacob sold the homestead and he and Sarah with their youngest son George, moved to Mustang, Oklahoma where Jacob’s younger brother Robert Allen Foreman lived. In the spring of 1920, they returned to Vernon, Colorado to be near their children.


Jacob died in 1923 and Sarah died in 1928. They are buried in the Glendale Cemetery near Vernon, Colorado. The house they lived in at Vernon still stands.

Jacob and Sarah Foreman

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #17 Cemetery

Cemeteries are the best place to find people. Really! My husband and I have spent countless hours walking through many, many cemeteries, and when I can not get to the cemetery of my choice I use the FindAGrave web site and someone else will walk through a cemetery for me and take a picture of the requested gravestone like this one from the Hudson Valley in New York of my father’s paternal great grandparents William and Margaret Frimpter.

mixed genealogy pics from disc 094

Of course walking sometimes means hiking. Cemeteries don’t always have the groomed green grass of a modern city like this Gold Camp Cemetery photo where Soapy Smith is buried in Skagway, Alaska. What a hike, and the bugs were terrible!

Gold Rush Cemetery Skagway

In St. Louis while looking for my husbands McMahon family grave site at Calvary Cemetery, we took a pre-mapped guided tour of the 300,000 burials. Some famous St. Louis people are here like Tennessee Williams, Dred Scott, Pierre Chouteau (founder of St. Louis) and H. Soulard.


Some cemeteries, like the Elbert cemetery here in Colorado show the natural beauty of the wildflowers. Both the Edwin Squires family and the Robert S. Foreman family are buried here.


Sometimes if you are having trouble finding the cemetery like we did in Catawisa, Missouri, street signs help. We knew we were close to finding my husbands great, great grandfather John McNamee here:

Intersection of McNamee Rd and McNamee School Road

At the Chesed Shel Emith Cemetery in St. Louis, the cemetery that suffered damage from vandalism when more than 100  grave stones were toppled last year, (they caught the guy last week) we found a picture of my husband’s 1st cousin twice removed embedded in the gravestone and also my husband’s great, great grandmother Jennie, which provided me the opportunity to learn a little Hebrew.

Riverside Cemetery here in Denver, one of the first cemeteries, hosts the graves of 13th cousin Silas Soule. Silas refused the orders of Chivington to shoot and kill the Indian women and children at the Sand Creek Massacre. Later, after testifying at the trial of Chivington, Silas was gunned down on the street near 15th and Arapaho in Denver.  Remember George Soule is our Mayflower ancestor.


Gravestones can provide a lot of information. We were looking for the birth date of Elizabeth McNamee Godfrey. Thought we would find it on the gravestone at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, but it wasn’t there. However, we did get the names of two of their children engraved on the back side.


David and Elizabeth Godrey

I love exploring cemeteries. So much history and so many stories.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #16 Storms

Vernon, Colorado

Carol Singer, Gloria Hartman Clark, Mary Foreman Hartman

Carol Singer, Gloria Hartman Clark, Mary Foreman Hartman

Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman! The opening lines of a prime time Emmy Award winning soap opera back in 1976-1977.

This was my first thought when 20 years ago my mother said we needed to go to Wray, Colorado and visit Mary Hartman. Our fist visit was in 1999. She was excited to have company and welcomed us to look through her photo albums and pictures. She brought the Foreman family history alive with her stories of growing up in Vernon, Colorado just 10 miles south of Wray.

Mary Geneva Foreman Hartman was first cousin to my grandmother Mary Frances Foreman Hancock. Both ladies were good friends from childhood until 2000 when my grandmother died. For years they would send letters back and forth to each other several times each month.

In 2000 my mother and I went back to Wray for “Vernon Days” which is held each August.  Tractor pulls, tractor parades, very old tractors on display, good food, flea market and the historic school building open for displays with quilt shows and WWII memorabilia or whatever the featured subject was for that year.


Mary Hartman checking out the old post office boxes and clerk’s window. She pointed out the box that belonged to her family.


Quilts on display.

In 2001 I went back to Vernon Days to visit Mary Hartman. My mother had passed away and on this trip my grandmother’s brother Robert Foreman joined me.  Mary Hartman was delighted to see her other cousin. Mary added a grand tour of the area around Vernon, showing us where all the Foreman’s had homesteaded and several of the cemeteries that held family members from Wray to Idalia. We even searched through a freshly plowed field turning over the big chunks of dirt looking for the headstones of Harriet Foreman Long and her husband. Never found it, we were in the wrong field!


Wray Rattler – 1903

As we drove the county roads surrounding Vernon, she pointed out the farms where Foreman’s had homesteaded and talked about who lived there now. What I found most interesting was her concern for the condition of the dry land crops. She would tell us of a storm that moved through the area and completely flooded the field of corn. Sod Soaker’s or Gully Washers they were called!


Wray Rattler – 1923

She mentioned the wheat crops that were destroyed from hail storms years ago when she and her husband farmed near Idalia.

f_co_tornados_160508The scariest storms of all were the the tornadoes and high winds.

Bob Foreman and I continued to visit Mary Hartman for Vernon Days until 2007 when at age 90 Bob decided the trip was just too much for him. The same year Mary Hartman had turned 90 and I made a solo trip. I learned that Mary’s daughter Gloria, wasn’t feeling well. Turns out she had colon cancer and died in July of 2008 at age 62. In September of 2008 Mary passed away at age 91.

Boy, I miss those trips to Vernon. I miss Mary Hartman and her stories.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #15 Taxes

Coming up on my 70th year of life and spending the last 20 years researching family history and building a huge family tree, I can tell you of two things I am certain, death and taxes.

For some, neither is a welcome topic. The mystery or charm of charting someone’s life is truly an investigative endeavor. So many records bear witness about an ancestor’s life from birth to grave.

For death a chiseled granite stone or brass memorial plate announcing the longevity or depth of love marks the last space on earth the ancestor will inhabit.


For taxes the state tax rolls describe the value of a lifetime of work whether it be hardship or profit. Because our early ancestors were mostly farmers think of the backbreaking effort to cut the sod in the fields to plant the corn or oats waiting for the rain to give the seeds life and praying the hail would not take it down in a matter of minutes. Even a lightning strike could doom the crop.

Sid's Steam Engine cutting sod 1898

Sid Foreman with his threshing machine and crew in 1898, cutting sod in Cameron, Colorado

It was the government that became the demon. At death the total worth of property would be listed and valued and taxes must be paid on that value. The census records reveal the widows who lived with their children when taxes could not be paid on the farm.

JF land sale

Some of our ancestral farmers turned to the cities to get factory jobs for wages to either take the place of or supplement the farm. The great depression and dust bowl experienced on the great plains gave measure to the hard work of the farm family.

Bernard Hancock Retirement -35

Grandpa Bernard Hancock at Gates Rubber Company. Retired in 1962.

We are the result of that life. Death and taxes – both a sure thing.