Thursday, April 25, 2013

Surprising Serendipity Moments through the Portal

In honor of the blogiversary of
I want to share two wonderful articles about two of my great grandmothers. Two weeks ago while working at the local Family Search (History) Center we were not busy, so I took some time to explore our premium websites.  The premium websites are accessible on the computers in Family Search Centers and then through the Portal provided through the website.

They include:

19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archives
Access Newspaper Archive
Alexander Street Press – The American Civil War: Research Data Base; Letters and Diaries; Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera Library Edition
ArkivDigital Online –Swedish online records – English online records – Military and other online records
The Genealogist
Heritage Quest Online – also through Public Library
Historic Map Works Library Edition
Paper Trail
World Vital Records Library Edition
I made some amazing discoveries while exploring. After looking through the websites available I turned to the newest website, I was pleased to discover seven articles for the Tidd family and eleven articles for the Neppl family.

These are my four great grandmothers:
     Julia Brown, born 15 Aug. 1869 in Chicago, Illinois and died 28 April 1940 in Sherwood, Oregon. She married John Philip Olsen on 13 April 1893 in Portland, Oregon. They raised seven children and she lived to the age of 71.

     Lucy Cordila Tidd, born 17 Aug. 1865 in Sumner, Iowa and died 26 March 1908 in Independence, Iowa. She married Harold H. Straw on 25 Dec. 1901 in Independence. They had one child and she lived to the age of 42.
     Rosa Belle Rounds, born 18 June 1881 in Monona County, Iowa and died 3 Dec. 1960 in South Sioux City, Nebraska. She married Jefferson Cole on 28 Feb. 1897 in Maple Landing, Monona County, Iowa. They had eleven children and she lived to the age of 79.
     Louise Clara Neppl, born 18 May 1886 in Carroll, Iowa and died 21 Sep. 1932 in Brunswick, Nebraska. She married Peter J. Anderson on 22 Feb. 1909 in Creighton, Nebraska. They had eleven children and she lived to the age of 46.

Lucy Cordila Tidd died leaving my grandmother Zella Straw age 4. While we have several written pieces about Lucy, the information was limited. My grandmother's last memory of her mother was when she was in the hospital. She said her mother held out an orange to encourage her to daughter to come to her, but she was too shy to go. Zella would live to the age of 92, having raised three sons.

Louise Clara Nepple died leaving two married daughters, Hilda and Helen my grandmother, twins age 22, and eight other children at home. My grandmother's last memory of her mother was a visit shortly before she died. One son of Louise died in 1911. At the time of her death, her oldest son was twenty and her youngest child, a daughter, was two. Helen lived to the age of 95, having raised two sons and a daughter. Hilda passed away six months after her.

While it is sad that my two maternal great grandmothers died at ages 42 and 46, they left a legacy in the lives that they lived. Only one of my paternal great grandmothers lived during my lifetime. They died at ages 71 and 79. I feel very blessed that both of my grandmothers lived to their 90s and I have many personal memories of them. Julia Brown's mother lived to the age of 88 and lived close to her. For Lucy Cordila Tidd who died the youngest, she also spent most of her life without her mother who died at the age of 43, when Lucy was just eight years old. Rosa Bell Rounds' mother lived to the age of 81 and lived close to her. Louise Clara Neppl's mother died at age 35, leaving a family of eight children.

The following are the two articles that brought tears to my eyes as I read them. I came a little closer to establishing a personal connection to these women.

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Friday, April 3, 1903,, accessed April 17 2013
The death of Mrs. H. H. Straw of Sumner township occurred at the city hospital at Independence Thursday afternoon March 26, 1908. Sunday, March 22, she was taken to the hospital and the following Thursday was operated on for tumor, death following a few hours later. Lucy Tidd, daughter of Daniel Tidd and his wife, was born in Sumner Township in 1865. Her mother died when she was only 8 years old. She remained at home with her father until her marriage to Harry H. Straw December 25, 1901. Besides her husband and her little daughter, aged 4 years, the deceased is survived by her aged father, one brother, Herbert, and one sister, Mrs. Jennie Hosmer of Irving, Ore. Mrs. Straw was one of the seven to organize the Society of King's Daughters of Sumner township. She was a woman dearly loved for her kind and charitable impulses, and was ever engaged in philanthropic work. She was a member of the Congregational church and was an earnest and faithful worker. The funeral occurred Saturday afternoon from the home, which is just across the road from Mrs. Straw/s birthplace. The services were conducted by Rev. T. E. Taylor. Interment in Oakland cemetery at Independence. The deepest sympathy is extended to her husband and other relatives.

Other Tidd Family articles included obituaries for:
Waterloo Evening Courier, Thursday, August 2, 1928, accessed April 17, 2013. Mrs. Wesley Hosmer, who died at her home in Sherwood, Ore., notice of death to H. H. Tidd. 
Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Friday, October 20, 1933, accessed April 17, 2013. Mr. Wesley Hosmer who died in Sherwood, Ore., notice of death to H. H. Tidd.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wed. June 20, 1950, accessed April 17, 2013. Funeral notice of Harry H. Straw.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tues. Aug. 15, 1950 and Aug. 22, 1950, accessed April 17, 2013. Appointment of administrator for probate of Maude Straw, widow of Harry H. Straw.

Carroll Daily Herald, Carroll, Iowa, Monday, September 26, 1932,, accessed April 17, 2013.
Former Roselle Resident Buried At Royal, Neb.
Rites Held Friday for Mrs. Peter Anderson; Mother Lives Here
Funeral rites for Mrs. Peter Anderson of Royal, Neb., formerly a resident of Roselle township were held at Creighton, Neb., Friday morning at 9:30 o'clock in St. Ludgers Catholic church. Frank and Henry Neppl of Halbur and Willey, respectively, attended the services.
Louise Neppl, daughter of the late Frank Neppl, Sr., was born May 18, 1885, at Roselle, and was married to Peter Anderson at Creighton, Feb. 22, 1908.
She is survived by her husband and nine children: Mrs. Roy Briggs (Hilda) of Royal, Neb.; Mrs. Orville Cole (Helen) of Sioux City; and the other seven at home. One child died in infancy.
She also leaves her mother Mrs. Frank Neppl Sr., of North Maple Street, Carroll, four brothers and four sisters: Frank Neppl of Halbur; Louis Neppl of Glidden; Henry Neppl of Wiley; William Neppl of Breda; Mrs. William Thomassen (Tekla) of Creighton, Neb.; Mrs. Frank Raab (Mary) of Lindsey, Tex.; Mrs. Joe Lordeman (Josephine) of Denver, Colo.; Mrs. W. J. Meis (Katherine) of Carroll.
Mrs. Anderson has been ill for about six months and died from the effects of the flu. She was well fortified with the last sacraments of the church. (Her mother mentioned is her step-mother, her mother Mary Schaffer Neppl died in 1889.) 

The other articles ten articles for the Neppl family are for collateral lines and provide information valuable for the research of this family who arrived from Germany in the 1880s.

So goes the happy dance in the research of our families. Things often pop-up in places where we least expect them. As more material is digitized and placed online for easy access, the challenge comes in discovering where they are waiting to be found. What resources are available to us in local research facilities, many miles from where the originals were written? Please keep looking, seek inspiration in directing you in where to look and capture the moments of serendipity as they occur. Check out the portal at your local Family Search Centers, there are truly treasures waiting to be discovered.


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