Wednesday, November 22, 2023

CLEANING OUT AN ATTIC ~ What did I find?


What happens when we clean out those closets, drawers and attics?

If we are genealogists, we may come across some family artifacts.  Perhaps we stored them and forgot, or maybe a spouse or other family member put them away?  Whatever the case may be, finding long lost or unknown treasures sure makes me do the happy dance.

As I wrote recently, my husband, Ron and I just made a big move from California to Montana.  In doing so, we were cleaning out the attic (and oh my what a job that was). 

Ron comes across an old suitcase that he says is very heavy.  He hollers down to me (I’m at the bottom of the attic stairs) “what in the world do you have in this old suitcase?”  He carefully hands it down to me.  He’s correct, it’s quite heavy.  I don’t recognize the suitcase at all.  It was one that would be from the 1950s or  1960s. 

Here's an example of the old suitcase, only it was green instead of blue.

Drum role………………………….

I opened the suitcase and found items belonging to Ron’s Mom, her mother and very likely her German grandparents. Ron must have placed this in the attic and forgot about it these past many years. 

My regret is not taking photos of it as I opened it.  I was so much into packing mode that I just moved the items to another suitcase and moved on.  But, here is a list of some of the items I found:

·       Both of the military flags that were presented at Ron’s mother’s military funeral in 1993 and his father’s military funeral in 1966.  These should have been and will now be put in a proper frame and placed in our new home.

·       A small King James Bible that belonged to Ron’s maternal grandmother, Freada Doller Fink (1895-1981).  In it are notes written by Freada about births, deaths and other notable moments in the family.

·       Another King James Bible that was presented to my husband, Ron by his parents in Dec 1956.  Inside this Bible is the record of Ron’s baptism at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in San Diego, California.

·       An Evangelical Hymnal copyrighted 1919.

·       Last but very much not least, a small booklet, entirely in German.  




Kleine Katechismus

fur die gemeinen

Bfarrherren und Brediger


Dr. Martin Luther

St. Louis, Mo

Lutherrifder Concorbia = Berlang

Translated with the help of Google to say the following

the small catechism

for the common people

Bfarrherren and Brediger


Dr. Martin Luther

St. Louis, Mo.

lutherifcher concordia = overlay

There is no copyright on the German booklet and it is in poor condition. 

Did it belong to Freada Doller Fink’s parents?  They were both born in Germany. They immigrated to the U.S. in 1890, a few years prior to Freada’s birth.

Here is a photo of the Bibles and the hymnal.

Please stay tuned as I will be sharing the notes made by Ron’s grandmother Freada in the small Bible.

What other family treasures did I find during “the great packing?” You’ll find out in future posts.

If you’ve found treasures/family artifacts during a move or perhaps a cleaning out, I’d love to hear about them.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Where I've Been and Why I Haven't Been Blogging - Here's the story......

Hello readers.  It's been a while.  In fact, I haven't published a blog post since June 21st this year.  

So, what's been going on?  

Short husband, Ron and I have moved from California to Montana!!!!

Here we are in front of a Welcome to Montana sign (see it in the back between us)

As you can imagine, it's no small feat packing up a home you lived in for 28 years.  Kudos to all of you who've made a big move in your "later" years.  It was tiring and difficult, but we got it done. 

Libby in our hotel room - Libby and me in the Murano - a snowy road on our trip

For the very first time, we hired a moving company to do all the heavy lifting and some of the packing.  Our household belongings, furniture etc. are now stored safely here in Montana, not far from us.

After a 3 day drive in both vehicles, with our dog Libby in the car with me, we made it here.  I can't say enough about how good our Libby was.  She had never traveled more than an hour in a vehicle and never stayed in a hotel room.  She was amazing.  The total drive took about 19 hours over 3 days. 

Hamilton had just experienced their first snow fall of the season and it was absolutely beautiful.

A view from the front porch and the back patio at the home we are staying in

Why Montana?  We've been coming here for many years and have always been in awe of the beauty of this state.  Over the past 5-6 yrs or so, we decided we would like to live here.  It's no easy task to leave friends, family, doctors and everything you've known for decades.  

But hey! What is life without an adventure or two?

One of the many places along the beautiful Bitterroot River right here in Hamilton

These deer were grazing along a side road on the way to our local dog park

We don't have our own home yet.  We are grateful & fortunate to be staying in a home owned by relatives who head south for the winter months.  Shout out to D & D (you know who you are).

We hope to be able to buy a home in the very near future.

I hope all of you are well.  I look very much forward to sharing more genealogy stories with you.  Thanks for hanging in with me.

Happy Hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall