When Your Family History Connects with History

First flight, 120 feet in 12 seconds, 10:35 a.m.; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Source: Library of Congress On this day in 1903, the Wright brothers successfully flew an airplane for the first time in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The following year, after repairing their airplane, they conducted flight tests in Huffman Prairie, just outside their…

Caroline Gile’s Scrapbook

This is my great-great grandmother, Caroline Jane Webber Gile, as a new mother with her first child, as an old widow with her grandson, and a scrapbook with poems and jokes she collected from newspapers, no doubt to help her smile and carry on in her widowhood and old age. She experienced much tragedy in…

Little Jonnie Lathrop, or, Life and Death on the Prairie

This is my great-great-grandmother, Caroline Jane (Webber) Gile. I love this picture. Usually in pictures this old the people don’t really smile, and old photos of babies usually have them by themselves or in mother’s lap, and half the time baby is blurred out because she is moving too much for the camera to focus.…

The Handwritten Past

My Grandpa lives in a little brick house in north-central Kansas in a small town with a population of about 300. Just outside of town is the land where his grandfather built a homestead when he first moved to Kansas from Ohio. Grandpa has driven us grandkids around on those dirt roads in Kansas and…