Ole Loren Christiansen

Which Christiansen?

I have this photo sitting on my desk at work.  It is a little 2×3 inch picture inside a soldered silver metallic frame.  It belonged to my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas (1898 – 1987).  It came from the collection of photos left to her by her mother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

My first impressions of the picture remind me of Lillian’s brother, Arthur Christiansen Coley (1921 – 2004).  But for his age, the clothing are the wrong time frame.  But because of the family resemblance I can see in Uncle Art, I know this man is related to me.

Since the picture belonged to Martha, I have often wondered if this is a picture of her father, Olle Christiansen (1853 – 1900).  But the hat, tie, shirt, and suspenders don’t match for a person who passed away in 1900.

Since he looks like Uncle Art, but the person in the photo has to be greying and older by the 1930’s, then I believe this is one of Marth’a brothers.  I know very little about the brothers.  Martha had three brothers: Henry Owen Christiansen (1887 – 1932), Roy Christin Christiansen (1892 – 1892), and Ole Loren Christiansen (1898 – 1977).  Since Roy died as a baby, I know it isn’t him.

That leaves me to Henry Owen and Ole Loren.  Henry Owen and Martha seem to have done very little to keep in contact.  Not a single letter, post card, or photograph that we can tell document anything in communication.  Plus he died in 1932, so the photo above had to predate that date.  I am not a great teller of fashion styles and changes, but I believe the above photo’s clothing would date during the 1930s into the 1940s.  As such, I believe this photo is of Ole Loren.

I have one photo of Ole Loren.  Don’t you think they are close enough in features that they could be the same.  However, I do not know if Henry Owen looked like him.

Sister, Ole Loren, Florence?

I don’t even know which sister of Loren’s is on the left.  From other photos and correspondence I very much believe this is Rhoda.  With the letters and cards between the two, it is very likely this photo was provided to Martha by her.  The photo only says “Sister, Loren, and wife” on the back.  Ole Loren, who I believe went by Loren, probably to differentiate him from his father, only had two wives that I am aware.  Sara Strong (1900 – ?) who he married in 1918 and Florence Knapp (1898 – ?) who he married in 1926.  I don’t know what happened to Sara, there appears to have been a divorce.  For the time of this photo, Florence is likely his wife.  I can tell the sister on the left is a sibling to Martha and Loren, I just don’t know which one.

Henry Owen Christiansen appears to have died in Tillamook County, Oregon.  On his service registration in 1918 he is living in Northport, Stevens, Washington with a wife of Anna Wilda Christiansen.  I believe she is Anna Wilda Hooser from Texas.  They appear to have had children named Mary, Madison, Gerald, Henry Jr, and John.  Quite a bit more research to properly piece the family together.

Ole Loren Christiansen appears to have died in Oakland, Alameda, California.  I believe two children were born to Sara, Ruth and Robert, and two to Florence, Lorraine, and Lucille.  Lorraine and Lucille may have been twins, both born the same year.

Without more photos to compare, I don’t believe I will pin point these individuals while in mortality.  But at least I have narrowed down the family relationships.  If anyone has more information on Ole Loren Christiansen or Henry Owen Christiansen, I am very much interested in any clues or leads you can provide.

At any rate, people often ask me about the little frame on my desk.  All I usually say is it is my Great Great Grandmother’s brother, I don’t know which one.  Most don’t say anything about that, but a number of commented on how intriguing the picture is.  I agree, some day I will learn more on Loren and Henry and hopefully can provide an update.

 

1961 Coley Film

I stumbled upon a photo of a Great, Great Uncle, Wilford Herbert Coley, posted on a website. I e-mailed the lady who posted the picture and she forwarded my e-mail to her brother. As it turns out, the family has a number of film reels taken from the early 1960’s. I asked him to share any that he thought I might be interested in.  He indicated that one was from a funeral and it seemed to include extended family.  He could only identify his grandfather, Wilford Herbert Coley, in the film.

On a hunch, I sent him this photo and informed him that it was taken 17 August 1961 at the burial of my Great, Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley, in Richmond, Utah.  This is Wilford’s mother and I knew he was at the funeral.  I also knew that if the family was into filming events, this could very well be one such event to catch.

Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother’s funeral in 1961.

He responded to me stating the film was from the same funeral and it actually covered the carrying of the casket from the hearse, some scanning of the crowd, and then the final shots of the 10 siblings standing together in which this photo was taken. He shared the converted video from the film with me yesterday.

The 10 siblings in the picture above and film are as follows from left to right.
Arthur Christiansen Coley (Art), 1921-2004
William Golden Coley (Goldie), 1924-2009
Wilford Herbert Coley, 1903-1966
Roland Charles Coley, 1915-2005
Oley Lloyd Coley (Lloyd), 1918-1998
Edna Coley Neilson, 1900-1983
Hannah Marie Coley Thomson, 1909-1982
Carrie Christiansen Coley McMurdie, 1906-1992
Lillian Coley Jonas, 1898-1987
Ivan Stephen Coley, 1912-1994

The film starts out with children carrying flowers out of the church.  I am pretty sure this is the old Richmond, Utah South Ward Building (demolished after the 1962 earthquake).  I do not think we will be able to identify any of these girls because of how cloudy and short the video is at this point.

The film then moves to the Richmond, Utah Cemetery viewing the place where Martha will be laid to rest.  Two girls appear in the background, again probably too short a span of time and too fuzzy to identify them.

We jump to the casket being carried by 6 men, the 6 male siblings.  On the far side of the casket from right to left are Roland, Wilford, and Art.  On the near side from right to left are Lloyd, Golden, and Ivan.

In the background right as the pallbearers appear with the casket are two girls dressed in white.  The taller of the two are Connie Gittins (Wilford’s granddaughter) and an unknown girl.

A young unidentified girl walks in front of the group bearing the casket.

Then we start the first scan of the crowd counter-clockwise from the south.  These are the individuals:
Wilford Coley
Short boy in white that Bob Jonas steps in front of
Bob Jonas in white shirt
Steve Coley in white shirt
Gary Coley revealed when Steve Coley steps aside
Art Coley
Mary Coley (Art’s wife and Bob, Steve, and Gary’s mother)
Lillian Coley Jonas
Carrie Coley McMurdie
Edna Coley Neilson
Hannah Thomson
Tall guy in background (probably Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt?)
Lady in white in background
Tall thin man in background
Shorter man in foreground, very short time

Then we move to the 10 siblings back and forth as mentioned above in the photo.

The video is below.  Be sure to open it in full screen and to have your mouse on the pause button so you can look more carefully.

If anyone can add more information, I certainly welcome it.  I hope we can identify every person in the video but I think I hope for too much.  After all, this was taken 40 years ago!  Nevertheless, the video is interesting to see people living and moving who are now all gone from mortality.

For those interested, here is a copy of Lillian Coley Jonas’ journal that includes this funeral.  Martha died on the 14th of August 1961.  I also include the other two journals we have for her.

Lillians 1961 Journal

Lillians 1962 Journal

Lillians 1963 Journal

Boy with Top

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This is one of those photos that will captivate you.  You can stare at it and wonder who this little boy is, who did he become, what became of his life?

This photo came from the collection of Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).  While I cannot be certain who the photo is, I believe it is Clair Charles Anderson (1902 – 1956).  Clair is Marth’a nephew through Martha’s sister, Walborg Christiansen Anderson (18775 – 1951).  I don’t know much about his life.  Perhaps some day.

"Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley"

“Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley”

Here is a picture of Clair’s brother, LeGrand Clive Anderson (1914 – 1973).

LeGrand Clive Anderson

LeGrand Clive Anderson

Haunting Eyes

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I was thinking of this little girl the other day.  Her eyes and smile are hauntingly familiar to me.  I know she is full blood family, I just wish I knew for certain who.

This photo was one in the collection of my Great Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

I am convinced this little child, I don’t know if male or female but assume female, is likely one of Martha’s own children.  I just don’t have baby pictures of her children though so I cannot tell for certain.  But I do seriously wonder if this is not my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas.  I do have this picture to compare.

Baby Lillian Coley

Baby Lillian Coley

You can view all the other unknown photos I have from Martha’s photo album here.

Milo James Ross Birthday

Today would have been my Grandpa’s 96th Birthday.  Milo James Ross was born 4 February 1921 in a little log cabin in Plain City, Weber, Utah.  He passed away in his sleep 17 July 2014 in Plain City.  His passing occurred roughly .8 a mile from where the log cabin stood, but his home was much more comfortable than the one in which he was born.

In thinking about him, I thought of some of his personality and quirky sense of humor and laugh.  No better way to share that than with a video or two.  I am so glad we took the opportunity to record him playing with the kids this Friday 19 October 2012.  They are short and playful, but capture so much of the essence of Grandpa.

I am also sharing the photos, after the videos, from the same occasion so you can see those as well.

Milo James Ross and Hiram Milo Ross

Milo James Ross and Hiram Milo Ross with Amanda Ross in mirror

 

Milo James Ross and Hiram Milo Ross

Milo James Ross and Hiram Milo Ross

 

Milo James Ross and Hiram Milo Ross

Milo James Ross and Hiram Milo Ross

 

Aliza Ross

Aliza Ross

 

Milo Ross and Aliza Ross

Milo Ross and Aliza Ross

 

Milo Ross and Aliza Ross

Milo Ross and Aliza Ross

 

Milo Ross and Aliza Ross

Milo Ross and Aliza Ross

Andra Christmas in Germany

Christiana Wilhelmina Andra Wendel

Christiana Wilhelmina Andra Wendel on her birthday

Christmas Memories in Germany, compiled by Deanne Yancey Driscoll

Frieda wrote the following story about Christmas in Germany. December 1901. This would be the last Christmas with their father (Otto was not born at this time).

Frieda Andra said, “Christmas in Germany was a very joyous time.  We have three days of celebration, dancing, singing, and going to Church.  They really enjoy themselves.  Every State has a different custom in celebrating Christ’s birthday.  They even bake different cakes and call their cakes different names.  Names like…Mo, mstrriseal, Hutzelbrot, Kletzenbrot, Kloben, Zwiebelkuchen, and Lebkuchen.  Where I came from, we called it Stollen.  My mother would bake about four or five because she would take them to the bakery and they baked them in their big ovens.  There were many inspiring programs too, in our Church.  In many places the people portrayed the Birth of Christ, all in person.  When Christmas came, we were really inspired with a Spirit of Holiness.  One night when I was about eight years old, a knock came to the door.  I opened the door and there stood St. Ruperecht.  I was so scared.  He asked me if I had been a good girl.  I knew I hadn’t been, so I said, “I will be good, St Ruperecht,” and I said my little prayer that mother had taught me.  He gave me a switch with his Rude, then looked for the other children, but could not see them as one was under the sofa, one behind the sewing machine, and my little sister was behind mother and was so scared that she began to cry.  Then he got my brother Walter out from under the sofa and Willie came from behind the sewing machine and gave them a licking.  He asked all kinds of questions to see if we had learned anything.  Then we knelt down before him and said our Prayer.  It went like this: “Oh du heiliger fromer Christ while fanta Jam Gaburto Stag ift, Da ift aur Ervan ndait umd bright bai allan Menshen froje Zait.”  Then he promised us, if we would be good children, he’d see to it that we got some nice gifts for Christmas.  He left and we danced and clapped our hands for joy, it was really nice, a spirit of joy and happiness was in our house and in us too.  On the Night before Christmas, we all had our baths, and then early on Christmas Day we got up and saw what the Christ Child had brought us.  My!  The tree was loaded with cookies, nuts, candles, and apples.  It was, indeed, beautiful Lebkuchen in forms of all kinds of shapes hung on the tree.  We would always get Marziban (that’s candy) for Christmas.  It’s delicious.  We all got one toy and clothes also. Clothing was the main thing.  We all sang.  Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night).  Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree) and O du frohlicke o dufulige.

Then we sat down and had Stollen and a hot drink for breakfast.  In General, it was a most happy day for us children.  Then we would go sleigh riding as we usually got a new sleigh for Christmas because Papa had made them himself.  We called it Kasehitchla, and it came down the hill as fast as the store one did.  We lived by Aunt Taute Auguste, so my Cousin Arthur was among us too.  Aunt Auguste was a very dear woman.  She had a bad husband who would drink and come home and beat his wife and son until they were black and blue.  His name was Lippman.  He disappeared while Hitler was in power.  All of them are dead now, Aunt Martha, Uncle Richard Givich, Aunt Bertha and Uncle Fritz Kamprath, Robert and his wife are gone long ago, Tante Auguste.  These were sisters and brothers of my mother.  Robert Knauke was a brother to my mother.  We were very happy in the Old Country.  We had such very nice feast (celebrations): Osteria, Pfuigotat Kirwest, Erute, Fest, Christmas, New Year.  Each takes three days to celebrate.  Then they bake the best cakes, drink and eat for three days, dance and be merry.

1959 Andra Reunion

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Back l-r: Kenny Beck, Twila Andra (holding Jeffrey Andra), Marlene Beck, Patty Andra, Sharon Johnson, Gary Beck, and Peggy Johnson.  Middle l-r: Doug Jonas, Jeffrey Andra (held by Twila), Sandy Jonas, Golden Andra Jr, Mary Lou Johnson, Chad Andra, Greg Andra.  Front l-r: Marc Andra, Kent Andra, Andy Sorenson, Lanny Johnson, Scott Sorenson, and Cindy Johnson

In my constant pursuit of family history photos, I stumbled upon this gem.  We believe it is the Andra family reunion from 1959.  Most of the reunions during this time were in Richmond, Utah or Preston, Idaho.  I believe these three photos were all taken in Preston.  This photo includes the older children from the older Andra siblings.  I don’t have many pictures of the Andra grandchildren from the reunions.  Plenty of photos of the siblings or even my Great Grandparents, Bill and Mary Andra.  That makes this even more rare.

This photo has children of the six oldest siblings.  William, June (married Johnson), Millie (married Beck), Golden, Colleen (married Jonas), and Sergene (married Sorenson).  I will not include much information since most of these children are alive.

Kenneth Beck (1949 – Living)

Twila Andra (1947 – Living)

Marlene Beck (1948 – Living)

Patricia Andra (1946 – Living)

Sharon Johnson (1943 – Living)

Gary Beck (1947 – Living)

Peggy Johnson (1945 – Living)

Douglas Jonas (1952 – Living)

Jeffrey Andra (1957 – Living)

Sandra Jonas (1954 – Living)

Golden Andra Jr (1951 – Living)

Mary Lou Johnson (1953 – Living)

Chad Andra (1949 – Living)

Greg Andra(1948 – Living)

Marc David Andra (2 September 1955 – 6 August 2011), son of William and Edith.

Kent Melvin Andra (20 April 1954 – 17 April 2003), son of William and Edith.

Andrew Sorenson (1953 – Living)

Lanny Johnson (1947 – Living)

Scott B Sorenson (28 April 1951 – 10 December 2001), son of Bert and Sergene.

Cindy Johnson (1955 – Living)

Here is a second shot, but not as clear.

andra-kids-2

Here a photo of the parent siblings from the same day.

l-r: Bill Andra,

l-r: Bill & Mary Andra, June Johnson, Mildred (Millie) Beck, Colleen Jonas, Sergene Sorenson, Ross Andra, Dale Andra, Larry Andra.