Genealogy

The Search for the Secret Lovechild of My Great-Grandfather [Genealogy Mystery]

The Search for the Secret Lovechild of My Great-Grandpa [Genealogy Mystery] – My great-grandpa, Ralph Edgar Bales, had a secret lovechild, but we only know his first name. I have no clue how we would go about finding a person among the roughly 300 million people in the United States using only a first name. …

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Gender-Confused, Transgender, or Just Messing Around? [Genealogy Photo]

Gender-Confused, Transgender, or Just Messing Around? – Today’s Way Back Wednesday genealogy photo provides undeniable evidence that one of my ancestors participated in at least one incidence of crossdressing. So what was going on with that? Pictured from left to right are Hilda Oberender, Clara (Clark) Bales, and Blanche (Bales) Sickels. Clara was my great-grandmother. …

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Early 1900’s Threshing Ring – Randolph County, Indiana [Genealogy Photos]

Early 1900’s Threshing Ring – Randolph County, Indiana [Genealogy Photos] – We’ve all heard the phrase “pitching in,” but how many realize the saying comes from the common early American practice of the neighborhood threshing ring? The threshing ring was every bit as much a social event as it was a functional necessity in that …

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Could My Ancestor Have Been One of the Mysterious Melungeons?

Way Back Wednesday: Could My Ancestor Have Been One of the Mysterious Melungeons? – Until two weeks ago the Melungeons were so mysterious to me I didn’t even know they existed. I had encountered Mulattos in census records. I had come across Mestizos in history textbooks. However, Melungeon was a completely foreign word to me …

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Way Back Wednesday – J H Bales – Butter, Eggs, and Poultry Wagon

Way Back Wednesday: J H Bales – Butter, Eggs, & Poultry Wagon – The following large group photo would have likely been taken somewhere near Bloomingport of Randolph County, Indiana around 1910. The photograph includes my great-grandfather, as well as his parents, grandparents, and siblings. There are additional friends and neighbors pictured too. Some I …

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Way Back Wednesday – John and Nancy McMullen Bales Reunion 1896

Way Back Wednesday: John and Nancy McMullen Bales Reunion 1896 – The following is a large family group photo taken at a Bales Reunion in 1896. The individuals pictured are the descendants of John and Nancy (McMullen) Bales. I suspect the photo was taken at Bloomingport in Randolph County, Indiana. John Bales was born about …

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Way Back Wednesday – Bloomingport Livery Stable and Carlos City to Carlos Mystery Solved

Way Back Wednesday: Bloomingport Livery Stable and Carlos City to Carlos Mystery Solved – My great-great-great-grandfather John Henry Bales operated the livery stable at Bloomingport in Randolph County, Indiana. A livery was sort of like a hotel for horses. In the days before other forms of transportation, someone stopping in a town would need more …

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