Friday, January 25, 2013

That Sweetheart of a God Mother Part II

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t recall meeting my God Mother. After revisiting information about my Uncle Dick Dollen, I decided to search for my her. I was in possession of two facts. Her given name was Marilou and that she was my Uncle Dick’s high school sweetheart.

As I cleaned our coat closet, I pulled out a large blue suitcase that I thought housed my Mother’s accordion. I had quite a surprise when I opened the alleged accordion case for in place of my Mom’s accordion were baby books. My cleaning ground to a halt as I stopped to enjoy the three baby books page by page. My interest in genealogy seems to be predestined for my baby book held a family tree that shed new light on a great, great grandfather and revealed the surname of my God Mother!

Curious about her life and armed with a given and surname, I began searching for her on I located a Mary Louise who was born in the same city and about the same time of my Uncle Dick’s birth. I decided to test the find by messaging the owner of the tree. Could Mary Louise be my Dick Dollen’s high school sweetheart? I asked the tree owner just that.

The owner replied that yes Mary Louise did date Dick Dollen and a series of messages followed eventually leading to a phone call.

Good News! My Sweetheart of a God Mother is well. She has been blessed with five children, four living children. She is also a grandmother and enjoys her family very much. Marilou remembers her first love.

It was homecoming at Luther Institute when Marilou felt a tap on her shoulder. It happened over and over until she finally caught her admirer. Dick asked her to go steady and Marilou agreed. The girls thought Marilou was lucky to be going steady with such a handsome guy. Dates consisted of riding and going places. Dick would take her out to meet his family. They planned on marrying and raising a family consisting of “a girl just like her and a boy just like Dick.” Marilou and Dick were a match made in heaven!

Marilou and Dick Dollen; a gift from Marilou

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Sweetheart of a God Mother

Last Saturday, my local genealogy society held it’s first meeting of 2013. The weather was cooperative and we had nice attendance. Jennifer Holik presented a program entitled, “Soldier Dead.” Her focus was on soldiers who died while in military service. The program was well received with a collaborative discussion following for every family has World War I and II heroes. She motivated me to write my “Soldier Dead” story.

My Uncle Dick served in the Navy during the Korean War. He enlisted following his high school graduation. He served aboard the U.S.S. Washburn until an unfortunate accident took his life at the tender age of nineteen and prevented me from ever knowing my uncle.

Fresh eyes are just what I needed. A second look at his high school yearbook provided me with his baseball teammates names. An Internet search helped me locate a teammate on his baseball team. I have sent this gentleman a letter inquiring about my Uncle Dick with the hope that he will remember my uncle and respond.

My Uncle Dick had a high school sweet heart. I was born shortly after my uncle’s tragic death and his high school sweetheart became my God Mother. I don’t remember that God Mother of mine. Who was she?

It was time for creative thinking and my baby book held the clue. With genealogical research and a little luck I located my God Mother! This Friday afternoon, I will get an opportunity to speak to my Uncle Dick’s sweetheart also known as my God Mother. Can't wait!

Things happen when you look at something with fresh eyes.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Noses and Roses


One can’t help notice that John Dollen and his sister, Emma Paul nee Dollen are blessed with large noses. It appears to be a familial blessing that was passed down to many of their descendants causing this little ditty to be repeated with pleasure when speaking of the Dollen Family noses!

When God was passing out noses,
 They thought he said roses,
    And asked for a big one!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ancestral Waiting Rooms

I wonder if this happens to everyone.  When working on a family tree, I eventually reach a point where I have exhausted all search opportunities. That tree is then set-aside for the time being allowing me to revisit another family trees.

The Dooley family has had quite a lengthy run of research and has been placed in that waiting area of family trees . . .  the ancestral waiting room. Resting until a new lead pops up.

Several new research opportunities have arisen in the Dollen Family Tree. As a result, the Dollens are moving out of that ancestral waiting room.

I recently made contact with a Dollen descendant across "The Pond." She and I descend from John Dollen and Ann House of Curry Mallet, Somerset, England. I long to visit Curry Mallet and the shire of Somerset. For the time being, I must live vicariously through the television series, Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey transports me to Somerset, England and leaves me wondering why my John Dollen left such a beautiful country. He did not live in a grand castle but rather on Lower Street. I am satisfied for now yet long to visit Lower Street in Curry Mallet home to my British origin.

My newfound, distant cousin tells me that the Dollens were “Good Country People.”
John Dollen and Emma Paul were children of John and Ann Dollen and born in 1830 and 1836 respectively.  I am pleased to introduce you to brother and sister, John Dollen and Emma Paul nee Dollen.

Ladies first! Emma Paul nee Dollen & John Paul (husband)
John Dollen, son of John Dollen and Ann House.

Thank you to Sharon Mitchell, owner of the Emma and John Paul photo.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

If you have an interest in genealogy, The North Suburban Genealogical Society of Illinois will be hosting its first meeting of the New Year on 12 January 2013. If you are able to attend, come and see what this local society has to offer.