In the neighborhood

March 2, 2020

After a quiet week in Rippey, Jean Borgeson offers the following:

Jean’s Jottings – A person can find a lot about their community by reading obituaries. Bearing in mind, the words are usually written by those left to mourn the death of a loved one and sometimes the early papers’ editors would have kind words about certain people who were their friends.

As township clerk, I have been charged with keeping the records for the three cemeteries in Washington Township. The books are old and sometimes sketchy, hard to read and not alphabetized.

In an attempt to give some order to the books, I started a data base for each. The regular information of names, dates of birth and deaths were included and, because I am curious, maiden names of wives, who the parents were, and survivors were added. I add whether I have an obituary or not. I’m always thrilled when I find new stuff to add.

I had dabbled in my family’s history and, years ago, when Valerie Ogren shared the Swedish side of Ralph’s mother, I was hooked! (This is all her fault!)

In 1985 when a cousin of mine called and wondered if I knew our grandfather’s middle name, I knew the answer, and this spurred me on to get information from our remaining older generation. Oh, I wish I had started earlier!

The next family I researched was for my good friend Velda (Derry) DeMoss. We even found an elusive name on my farm deed that included her Grandmother Johnson’s family, who were the first owners. I think that was the most fun! She was content to let me do the “digging” and I was content not to be a quilter! Trips with her always included cemeteries, just to tour, not because we knew anyone buried in them.

I have done many Rippey families and provide as much information to those who are trying to fill in blanks in their tree. I had three new requests this month. (I notice they are from the newly retired, who have more time to dabble in their family trees.) It’s a fun hobby and keeps me out of trouble! (My opinion, only.)

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