Archive for the ‘family tree’ Category

The Mager Book

April 3, 2013

Genealogy is a hobby that has always fascinated me. Before I was married, living at home with my parents and siblings, I used to love to look at the typed booklets that were made by my Aunt Babe that had my Dad’s side things. I was able to take one side of that family back one more generation. Someday I hope to find out more.7 mager book

On my Mom’s side there was talk of some book, “The Mager Book” that had the history of her Mom’s side of the family. When I got a bit older, my cousin Kelly was kind enough to make some copies of the relevant parts of the book for our family and translate some of it into English for me. The book is written in German. The original was published in 1935.5 mager book(My great grandparents, my grandmother and my great-aunts and uncles.)

4 mager book

My Mother’s cousin Terese Schirmer Piccoli and her son, Martin, translated the 1935 version and the updated 1972 version into English. When my Aunt Gert passed away, her original 1935 book was given to me. It is filled with wonderful pictures and the charts of people, while the English translation is just the text of the book with no pictures and no charts with the names.

3 mager book(From the English translation 2006)

2 mager book(Inside the 1935 version)

6 mager book(I opened this page randomly, photographed it, and then read it.  On the bottom my aunts and uncles are listed, but not my Mom.  I guess she didn’t make it into that version.)

Today in the mail arrived the updated book! It was updated for 2013 by Friedrich Mager. He was kind enough to send us a copy because our Genevieve is the youngest Mager in the book! This updated book is a bunch of name charts, and written in German, but we found ourselves right away.

1 mager book (The updated book that arrived today.)

Perhaps someday I’ll be blessed enough to own a 1972 edition.  That was the year I was born.

A special thanks to cousin Kelly for letting us know about this and sending Friedrich our information. (I was a little busy having a baby when the request for our information came out.) Also, thank you so much, Friedrich, for mailing us a copy and for you well wishes.

My Office in the School Room

March 24, 2012

If you have been to my house in the last few years, you know that my desk is always piled with goodies and the table is usually covered.  Well, we worked on it today.  We took a few pictures because it may never look like this again.  I’m open for business now!  Veronica added the candle on the table.

There is a story behind the Pac-Man garbage can.  My favorite brother bought it for me years ago.  He would always get me presents that he really wanted himself, but was considered too old for.  When I grew up I gave it to a little boy named Steven.  After Steven passed away, his parents gave this back to me.  He kept it in his room all those years.  Now it proudly sits in my office.

Susan Branch and Handwriting

March 10, 2012

Not too long ago, maybe a year or so ago, a friend of mine gave me a copy of a Susan Branch book.  It was a book about Autumn.  Well, I just loved it!  For Thanksgiving this year, we pulled it out and used some of her little table setting ideas.  Around Christmas Joe bought me several of her books (we love used books!) and I even gave a copy of one of her Christmas books away to a friend of mine.  They are eye candy, just so delightful.  Every now and again I get a chance to check Susan’s blog.  Today I stopped there and the post was on writing!   Once again, it is just a joy to read and look at.  It got me thinking about some of the special letters that we have here.

Previously I think there is a post here that talks about a little project we had done.  Each of the children wrote down a few questions such as what was your favorite day, what games did you like to play, what was your school like, etc.  We made copies of these questions so that people could see the handwriting, and sent them to a bunch of family members.  We got back so great responses that we still read to this day.  They are treasures now.  We are also fortunate to have a copy of the handwritten journal of Joe’s grandfather.  He wrote down everything from when he bought a house, to the birth of his children, to when he wrote a letter to his mother.  It is wonderful to have a little piece of him.  On Joe’s other side, we have a letter from his grandfather to his girl…it looked like a break up letter.  Then next letter is from him to her and addressed as, “To my Dear Little Wife…”  We have a letter that Joe’s sister wrote to her grandmother when she was around 8 years old.  Both of them are now deceased.  Now, in this day and age, I find myself writing letters at night after the children have gone to sleep.  They are much more personal than an e-mail and handy when it is too late for a phone call.

Back to the Susan Branch post, it has inspired me once again to keep up with a journal, even if there are just a few lines about the weather.  The blog is nice, but it takes a lot more time to get a post up here than writing a few lines in a journal.

(On a totally different note, little Vincent is sleeping on my lap.  Teh way his face is shaped and the look right now reminds me totally of the Sieben side, maybe even more specifically Mager.)

This whole subject has got me thinking about trying to get the children involved.  We’ll see how that goes.

What have you written lately?  Is it more that a quick e-mail or line on Facebook or Twitter?  Do you have any special letters that you hold dear?  Do you keep a journal or even a nature notebook?

A Genealogy Project

November 20, 2009

The children and I began a little genealogy project not too long ago.  The children wrote out questions, in their handwriting, geared for older relatives.  There were 4 pages with 3 questions on each sheet.  We had them photocopied and mailed them out to their great aunts and some other relatives.  The response is better than I had hoped.  My only regret is that I didn’t think of doing this years ago when more were still alive.   In each individual’s envelope, we also added personal questions such as, “Where did you and Uncle Fred meet?”  and “Please tell us the story of when you saw Einstein,” etc.  It seems some of the adults had just as much fun answering the questions as we had reading the responses.  Not only that, I have learned things about my grandparents that would have gone to the grave with these relatives.  So, do yourself a favor, and get busy with this little project before another relative dies!

Veronica’s Name

August 29, 2008

In case you’re wondering, Joe’s grandmother, on her birth certificate was Veronica Susann.  (She was called Vera most of her life and on her wedding invitation she used Vera Susann.)  The Susann is pronounced like Suzanne.   Marye is, of course, after the Blessed Mother.  It was a tradition in my family for the girls to have either Mary or Marie in their names (Susan Marie, Ann Marie, Mary Louise, Marie Teresa, & Kristen Mary).  We decided to keep that tradition.  Marye is pronounced like Marie.  Marye is also a family name.  If you go to Fredericksburg, Virginia, there is a War Between the States site that is called Marye’s Heights.  Joe is related to just about everyone in Virginia, and his 5th great-grandfather was James Marye, Jr.  Lucy Mary Ann Marye was his 4th great-grandmother and she married a Weir (of Liberia in Manassas, VA.) The land where that battle was belonged to that Marye family.  So, now you know the rest of the story.

Old Pictures of Dad

July 5, 2007

I don’t know why I pulled these out today, but hopefully one day I will have all the old pictures on the computer so that each grandchild can get their own CD.

This first picture is my dad at work in his dad’s service station. It was owned by Oscar A. Eggert in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. My grandfather also had passenger cars that could be rented.


The next picture is after hunting. My father is the short man in the middle right front. Unfortunately my father is not around to tell me who these men are. I suspect that my Uncle Earle is on the far right, but I am not sure.


This last one is aboard the Ethel E. My grandfather had a commercial fishing boat out of New Jersey. I should know the name of the town, but I can’t remember right now. It was near Lacy and Dover on the shore. My father is the 3rd man from the left. My grandfather is the man in the middle with the captain’s hat on.

Note:  Aunt Babe said it was out of Forked River, NJ.


Genealogy in Our Homeschool

June 10, 2007

There is a new resource for Catholic Homeschool families who are interested in Genealogy. Family of God by Maryanne Patterson is program to help bring a year’s worth of genealogy study and prayer into your home. I found this program through Emmanuel Books and in their description they sounded very excited about it. The sub title is “A Study of History through Genealogy for Catholic Homeschooling Families.” The book begins with (what else?) an introduction and overview. Next resources are discussed. The importance of speaking to your living relatives is stressed and asking the right questions so that you can get the history as they remember it before they are gone.   Many resource ideas including several websites are given. The next section is for planning your year of study. There are so many wonderful ideas for hands on learning incorporated into this year of study that it just blows me away.  The ideas are arranged by weeks.  Being a somewhat experienced researcher of genealogy, this author has given me ideas that I have never thought of before. It is very exciting reading and while going through this section, I cannot wait to start implementing this program with the children. As if all of that were not enough, the book continues with ideas and activities for getting to know your countries of origin.  After that a section concentrates on immigration and journeys to get to the US. There is a large section on Life in America with activities and ideas for all sorts of things such as churches, games, fashion, patron saints, and the list goes on and on. The last section, but certainly not the least, is praying for our ancestors and all the holy souls.

Throughout the book, the author gives stories and pictures of her adventures into her family tree. They are wonderful examples to follow and springboards for more idea. Along with this book containing all of these wonderful things, there is also a smaller prayer guide that can be purchased for each child if you wish. I am quite sure that there will be several posts on this subject throughout the year.

Today Is…

January 10, 2007

The first Anniversary of my Dad’s death.  My father had a wonderful sense of humor.  Here is a quote:  “I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.”



Dad is the old man in the middle pictured with his children, our spouses, and his grandchildren in 2000 (My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.)

Today is  also the Anniversary of my husband’s uncle Bill Vogel’s death.    Uncle Bill was a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force.  He must be a saint because he had two children whom we love dearly and one of them is a priest! 


Uncle Bill is on the right.  This was taken during WWII.

Today is also the day when my husband’s late sister was born.  It would have been her 61st birthday.  When she knew she was going to die from ovarian cancer, she called her relatives and said goodbye.  (We were with her that day.)  She also told my husband that when she died we should have party.  After all, she said, “I feel sorry for you guys.  You have to stay here.  I’m going to a better place.”


This is Lucy and her husband George, and their dogs Muffin & Doogie.  It was taken in 1992.


This is a picture of my husband’s Uncle Bill, sister Lucy, mother, and father.  It was taken in 1991.

Feast of St. John Neumann

January 5, 2007


January 5 is always a special day at our house.  It is the feast of my favorite saint.  I have always had a special devotion to St. John.    My mother took two friends and I to see him when we were little girls.  (We lived a little over an hour away in South Jersey.)  She said I ran right up on the altar and put my face against his coffin.   Even later in my life when I was Catholic in name only, I would still tell people about him and his miracles.    One summer the children and I went to see him agian.  This time they had a bunch of candles placed in front of his coffin so my children could not get as physically close to him as I once did, but it still makes quite an impression on them.

After I was married, genealogy became a favorite hobby of mine.  Two years ago I researched some nuns on my husband’s side.  My husband remembered meeting these women in Buffalo where his father grew up and thought they were just family friends.  Well, they were his father’s aunts.  When I contacted the Sisters of St. Francis, a lovely sister that I spoke to had known two of the sisters and she was able to send me information and pictures.  After doing some reseach on this order of sisters, I found out that St. John personally helped found the order.   When I found that out,  I knew without a doubt that he had a hand in it and he is always looking out for me.   There is no dobt that St. John, these sisters, and my deceased father-in-law worked together to get my husband and I together.  My husband was a 45 year old bachelor when I met him, what are the chances of him meeting and marrying me?   People may think that is a long shot, but I am a Catholic of great faith, and there are no coincedences.

Here is a picture of the sisters:


Pictured here are my husband’s 3 great Aunts, Sr. Charlotte, Sr. Mildred, and Sr. Gertrudis Kaltenback with thier neice, Sr. Joseph Claire Weber (also a sister of St. Francis), and their cousin, Sr. Mary Joseph Friedman, GNSH. 

Here is a link to a wonderful website on St. John Neumann.

 One of the best books that my husband read outloud about St. John was “Thomas Finds a Treasure” by Joan Stromberg.  When he was reading this we had just found out about the order and the book actually takes place at that time in Williamsville, New York. 

 Other books on our shelf are “John Neumann The Children’s Bishop” by Elizabeth Odell Sheehan which is an old Vision book that has not been reprinted.   A second one is “The Little Bishop Episodes in the LIfe of  St. John Neumann, C.SS.R.” by Paschal Turbet, C.SS.R.  It is an old St. Paul Edition book.  A thrid book is “Saint of Philadelphia the Life of Bishop John Neumann” by Philip Douglas.  A fourth book is “St. John Neumann Fourth Bishop of Philadelphia” by Robert H. Wilson.  It seems more of a pictorial book printed in 1977, two years before St. John was cannonized.  One of my favorite pictures is the lower church and his coffin how I remember seeing it as a little girl.  I also have a book on his recent miracles, but I can’t put my finger on it to write the title here, but there are a few people alive today who the good Bishop has appreared to. 

 In our home we have a lovely painting of St. John in our living room.   We also have a white bust of him and a white bishop statue of him that my mother recieved shortly after his cannonization.  He is like part of our family.

A Wonderful Christmas Gift

December 20, 2006

My huband has a cousin who is a nun, Sr. Mary Vogel, HSSR.   Her birth name is Charlotte Mary, so she has a special spot in her heart for our little Charlotte Mary.  Every once in a while we’ll get a little package from her for Valentine’s day or somthing like that with lollie pops or some treat for the children.  One special treat was the year 2000.  She said all her father wanted for Christmas was a picture of her.  We were all blessed to recieve a copy.  My husband has not seen her in 40 or so years and I have never met her in person, so it was wonderful to see what she looks like.  In the picture there is Fr. David Verhalen (age 72), Sr. Mary (age 60) and Fr. Denis Walsh (age 65).


 When a package arrived a few days ago there was much excitement.  In it was a little gift for Charlotte.  When she opened it and saw the bear she smiled.  She was sick that day so a smile was a very big deal.   There was a tin full of candy canes that we’ll hang on the tree and a DVD set of “The Gospel of John” movie.  Then there was a gold Christmas ball for the tree.  It is called “Memories Forever” and it is a recordable talking ornament.  There is a picture of Sr. Mary on it.  You slide a button on the bottom of the ornament  over to “play,” push the top and there is Sr. Mary’s voice telling us she thought she would come hang out on our Christmas tree and pray by our crib and that she loves us all.  We have all really enjoyed hearing her voice.  God bless you, Sr. Mary and we hope to meet you in person one day soon.  We love you, too.